Diesel Generator Market Thriving

Rolling blackouts across the West are igniting demand for diesel-powered generators with Caterpillar, Cummins and Detroit Diesel all reporting a booming demand for their generators.

A Cummins spokesman said business in California and the Northwest has skyrocketed 160 percent with the production of an estimated 200,000 megawatts, or enough to provide power to 200,000 homes. That figures to rise again with California alone predicting about 100 hours of blackouts this summer because of energy shortages.

With the high demand for diesel-powered electricity however, some analysts worry inventories could be threatened with the increase in consumption. Adding to the concern is when utilities switch from natural gas to petroleum as fuel for their plants when natural gas prices rise excessively. In that event, up to 300,000 barrels of demand a day can be added in some months.

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