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Akins discusses impact of shale gas on electric utility industry with Fox Business News

by on July 29, 2014

Nick Akins, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer, discussed the impact of shale gas on the electric utility industry, economic growth in the U.S. and more July 25 in an interview with Fox Business News.

Is shale gas the wave of the future for all electric utilities?

AEP CEO Nick Akins discussed shale gas activities across AEP’s service territory with Fox Business News July 25.

“Absolutely. There is a transformation occurring in our industry, and when you look at the shale gas activities that are prevelant in the footprint of the 11-state territory that we serve, we’re seeing substantial growth,” said Akins. “Shale gas counties are growing at the order of 39 percent from last year. That’s huge. And obviously the industrials are following with petrochemical activity and so forth. So we’re seeing positive growth in our industrial sector as a result.”

Akins noted that the most dramatic growth is occurring in Texas and Ohio — where the shale fields are booming.

Turning to the economy as a whole, Akins said utilities such as AEP continue to see a positive growth trend across the country.

“We’re certainly seeing consistent increases from the economic perspective. For the last three or four quarters, we’ve seen continual progress in that regard,” Akins noted, “so it’s clear to us that there is some activity going on in the economy.

“When you start to see the industrial class of customers pick up — and certainly our commerical class has held in there and the residential, as well — those tend to follow one another, and the more growth we see, the better off our customers are as a result,” he added.

While AEP will continue to strive for a balanced portfolio of energy sources — coal, natural gas, nuclear, wind, solar, etc. — Akins said most of the future growth will come from natural gas.

“When we look at our nuclear portfolio, it’s very, very expensive to put in place, and certainly there’s risk associated with a 10-year cycle time for construction,” Akins explained. “So when you compare that against natural gas that you can put into place in two-to-three years, and the cost of natural gas has come down considerably, it really drives you to that solution.”

 

From → News From AEP

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