3 Electricity consumption in United States
In this part, we will explain how social and economic aspects have an impact on the energy consumption. We choose to analyse the most recent values when we want to compare some characteristics to the energy consumption because it is well more representative of the current situation. Furthermore, the electricity consumption is not fluctating that much through the years. In our case, the most recent data are from 2018.
During this exploratory data analysis, we aim to highlight some patterns that explain electricity consumption. We will therefore cover all of these following themes:
- Energy consumption
3.1 Energy consumption
3.1.1 Electricity consumption by states in 2018
Firstly, we are interested in knowing the actual consumption of energy in United States along with its evolving during the last years.
In Figure 3.1, we show the states that consume the most energy in 2018. Without any suprise, the classification looks like the same as the population and GDP classification per state that we will see later. This is obvious that the more populated is a state, the more energy is needed within.
3.1.2 Electricity consumption per capita in 2018
In order to have a more significant result, we will display the electricity consumption per capita. Indeed, population in states have an important effect on energy consumption.
In Figure 3.3, we notice that it is not the richest states or the most populated states that consume the most of energy per capita. California and Texas do not consume that much per capita. The new classification is leaded by Wyoming and North Dakota. Wyoming and North Dakota consumed about 30 MWh per capita. It is a huge consumption. To compare, in Switzerland, consumption is arount 7.5 MWh per capita. Other factors should explain this consumption more precisely.
3.1.3 Consumption of electricity depends on its production
It is obvious that the consumption of electricity depends strongly on the avaible energy, namely the electricity production. Underneath, in Figure 3.4, we display this relationship which is really linear. Texas is the stand-out state where the consumption and the production surpass all other states. Observations that can be found above the linear line are consumming more than what they produce and reciprocally for the observations below this line.
3.1.4 Price of electricity
It is also very interesting to plot the relationship between price of energy and its consumption as we can see in Figure 3.5. But we can see that the energy consumption does not depend on the price because energy is a necessity good. Nowadays, we can no longer deprive ourselves of it.
3.1.5 Evolution of the overall electricity consumption
By plotting the evolution of the electricity consumption in the United States, we can see that the trend is growing through the years but that the economic crisis in 2008 has reduced the electricity consumption. However, the trend has gone up since the crisis.
3.2.1 Population per state in 2018
In Table 3.1, we display a list and in Figure 3.7 a map of states with their population (2018). This is an important variable in order to explain the electricity consumption. It is evident that states having more population will consume more energy. We want to know the most populated states.
Partly because California and Texas are the most populated states, they consume more energy than other ones.
3.2.2 Population in 2018 in comparison to the annual consumption of electricity
In Figure 3.8, we want to confirm the relationship between population and electricity consumption. Indeed, there is a trend between these two variables.
3.2.3 Density compared to the annual consumption per state in 2018
Figure 3.9 shows that states with a density between 0 and 100 inhabitants per square kilometer follow a linear trend. After this threshold, density can no longer explain the consumption of electricity. Also, we decided to remove the District of Columbia because it is an outlier.
3.2.4 Number of houses compared to the consumption of electricity.
The linear trend in Figure 3.10 is strong. The more households there are, the more electricity is consumed. Few states stand out from the rest. This fact was quite obvious but needed to be verifed.
3.2.5 Number of capita per house in comparison to the electricity consumption.
The relationship between number of capita per house and electricity consumption is not really significant in Figure 3.11. The consumption of electricity does not depend on the number of people per house.
In this part, we will compare economic characteristics and energy consumption.
3.3.1 GDP in states
The US states producing the most wealth in 2018 are listed in the Table 3.2.
We can see that the total population by state is strongly correlated with the creation of wealth. Indeed, the most populated states, namely California, Texas, Florida and New York, are also the ones that produce the most wealth (Figure 3.12).
Four states exceed one trillion. California even reaches 3 trillion. By way of comparison, Switzerland would be 7th in this ranking with a GDP of 705 billion CHF. Today, creating wealth means consuming energy. This variable could well explain the consumption of states as well as the price of electricity.
3.3.2 GDP versus energy consumption
In Figure 3.13, we display the comparison between GDP and energy consumption per state in 2018.
In point of fact, energy consumption in well related to GDP.
3.3.3 Comparison between the variation of GDP and the variation of electricity production through the years.
In Figure 3.14, we display the variation of GDP and the variation of electricity consumption from years 2000.
We can see that US economic activity influences energy consumption. The similarity between the two curves is clear during the last 10 years. The 2008 crisis led to a drop in GDP of almost 4% and a drop in energy consumption of around 6%. However, we have to pay attention to the fact that correlation does not mean causation. Here, the decrease of GDP probably lowers the production of electricity and thereby the electricity consumption.
3.3.4 GDP per capita
In terms of GDP per capita, we see great inequality. While it reaches 85,450 dollars in New York state, it is only 38,550 dollars in Mississippi state. This trend could also be seen in energy consumption per capita.
There is no trend between GDP per capita and energy consumption. The majority of values are stagnating between 0 and 200, irrespective of their GDP per capita. However, we notice the presence of an outlier which is the district of Columbia. This is because this small district has a lot of high value-added jobs in the administration and a small population. Again, for this part, we remove this district because it distorts our graphic.
The largest economies are not the richest per capita. Indeed, California and Texas have the biggest GDP but also have many people. Despite the fact that most populated states have the bigget GDP, they are not necessary the richest ones. This is the reason why the GDP per capita does not follow the trend of the GDP and then, that there is no relationship between GDP per capita and energy consumption.
As a conclusion, this is surely a problem of collinerity between GDP and population. Thus, GDP or population have maybe no real relationship with electricity consumption. We will try to verify this assumption in the modelling part.
3.3.5 Personal income in 2018
In Figure 3.16, the personal income does not explain energy consumption. Indeed, electricity is a basic commodity and the increase in revenue will not significantly increase electricity consumption.
In Figure 3.17, we are showing the repartition between industrial, commercial and residential buildings (customers) in terms of electricity consumption in 2018.
In order to have a better view of the proportion of industrial customers, we will plot it separately in the next graph (Figure 3.18).
Nebraska, Idaho, Whyoming, Arkansas and North Dakota are the most industrial states. Then, it can explain the important energy consumption per capita in those states and particularly in Wyoming and North Dakota. Thus, this variable will be quite important to predict the consumption of energy.
Thanks to those different previous graphics, we see that California, Texas, Florida and New-York have the more customers in nearly each sector. Thus, they have lots of people within but also a strong industrial and commercial activity. Consequently, they produce more GDP and also need more energy than other states.
Then, we compare the customers of each sector and the consumption of electricity.
As we can see in the previous plots (Figure 3.22, Figure 3.23, Figure 3.24), the type of building is essential to know the energy consumption and especially for residential and commercial buildings. Thus, states having more residential or/and commercial customers tend to consume more than others.
Temperature generally plays a role in the consumption and generation of electricity. The United States is a country with a very varied climate.
Do we notice differences in production and consumption according to the state and temperatures ? (Warmer temperatures so more air conditioner/colder temperatures so more heater for example ?)
Finally, sunlight also impacts the electricity sector. For example, it plays a role on the production of solar panels, but also on energy consumption (lighting, heating, etc.). In the following, we will verify all these assumptions.
Firstly, in those two different maps (Figure 3.25 and 3.27), the summer one and the winter one, we can see that the country is clearly divided into two parts: the south part with higher temperatures in winter and summer and the north part with lower temperatures.
However, the relationship between temperature and electricity consumption is quite weak but still more pronounced during the winter season (Figure 3.28) than the summer one (Figure 3.26). Meanwhile, we do not detect any link with the most consumer states. But, a trend could be stronger for the production or the pricing of electricity.
In Figure 3.29, we display the map of the number or hours of sun in US. Again, we look for a pattern between hours of sun and consumption of electricity.