February coal-fired generation lowest in nearly two decades - Business, Government Legal News from throughout WV

February coal-fired generation lowest in nearly two decades

Posted: Updated:

Coal generated less electricity in the U.S. in February than in any month in more than 18 years.

Power companies used coal to generate about 114,000 million kilowatt-hours in February, according data released April 30 by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The next lowest month on record was in April 2001, during the 2001 recession, at about 118,000 million kWh.

Coal-fired generation never dropped so low during the deep recession of 2007-09. It peaked in the hot summer before the recession, at about 190,000 million kWh in August 2007.

Agency online data go back to January 1994.

Generating 50 percent of U.S. electricity as recently as 2003, coal dropped below 40 percent in November. In February, it represented less than 37 percent of total U.S. generation.

The EIA in March attributed declines in the use of coal for power to consistently rising prices of coal for electricity over the past decade, to competition from cheap natural gas for generation, and to economy- and weather-induced low demand for power.

Gas represented 29.4 percent of generation in February, not quite breaking through the 30 percent level it bumped up against in the summers of 2010 and 2011.

The EIA said in March it expects coal-fired generation to be down in 2012 but to rise again in 2013.

Monthly power generation data may be viewed on the Energy Information Administration's website.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WVSTATE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.