EIA: Gas-Fired Generation at Par with Coal
Friday, July 06, 2012
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said that, for the first time in the 40 years it has been collecting the data, electric-power generation from natural gas-fired plants is virtually equal to generation from coal-fired plants.
It said preliminary data for April shows that electric generation from gas was 95.9 million MW hours, only slightly below coal, at 96.0 million MW hours. Each provided 32% of total U.S. generation, with hydro, wind and other sources supplying the rest.
EIA noted that April electricity demand was low due to mild spring weather. Meanwhile, gas prices were at a 10-year low, making the fuel more competitive. It also said the newer-vintage gas-fired units operate at higher efficiency than older, fossil-fired units, which increases the competitiveness of gas relative to coal.
“With warmer summer weather and increased electric demand for air conditioning, demand will increase, requiring increased output from both coal- and natural gas-fired generators,” it said.
For more information: www.eia.gov