Friday, June 20, 2014
A new report from Bentek Energy, a unit of Platts, suggests that coal is making a “significant comeback” this year in the US and it expected to remain a significant baseload power source despite regulatory pressure and competition from natural gas.
Down but not out: coal is making a comeback
The report – “Back in the black: coal makes a comeback” – highlights the 2013/14 winter as a “clear example of how important coal remains in the power market”. The record cold temperatures resulted in power demand rising to peak summer demand levels, pushing gas prices up and forcing utilities to turn to coal to maintain supply. Coal consumption through to April 2014 was 25% (67 million short t) higher than the same period last year, reaching a total of 334 million short t.
“These year-over-year increases as in contrast to a long series of market-share declines in recent years,” the report notes, when coal’s share in the power mix dropped from 53% in 2003 to 41% in 2013. Coal-fired generation accounted for an estimated 44% of the total electricity generation last year.
For the full report, please click here.