Coal generation likely to increase in near term

Coal-fired electricity generation in the United States is expected to increase by 9 percent in 2013, while natural gas generation could decrease by about 10 percent, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest Short-Term Energy Outlook. The trend is the result of a predicted increase in natural gas prices relative to coal.

Coal has long been the dominant fuel source for U.S. power plants, although natural gas use rose to an equal level in April, with each fuel accounting for 32 percent of total generation.

Coal-fired generation is expected to make up 37.5 percent of total ­generation in 2012; natural gas is expected to account for 30.5 percent. The gap likely will widen next year, according to EIA’s outlook, with coal-fired generation ­accounting for 40.5 percent and natural gas accounting for 27.3 percent. 

Source: CFC Solutions News Bulletin, 9/18/2012