Sunday, July 19, 2015
There is a War on Coal, and Coal is Losing
The latest government figures show that since 2010 the share of U.S. electricity produced by coal-fired plants has declined from 45 percent to 30.2 percent. In April, the share produced by natural gas exceeded that produced by coal for the first time. Over the past year, no new coal plants have been opened, but there have been big increases in capacity of natural gas (1.5 gigawatts), solar (937 megawatts), and wind (633 megawatts) generation. Five years ago there were 532 coal-fired electrical plants operating in the U.S., but 200 of them have now closed. Coal production is down 16 percent in the past year alone. Which is bad news for coal miners, but great news for everyone else.