Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica
EIA report on coal in US

Clean Power

EIA Monthly Report Documents Decline Of Coal In US Electricity Generation

The latest report from the Energy Information Agency shows the use of coal to generate electricity fell by 13% in the first half of 2019 and the decline is expected to continue.

When people talk about “big government,” they may be referring to the reams of paper the government uses each month to print reports. Take the Energy Information Agency, for example. It has just issued its monthly report on energy production for June, 2019. The report is 272 pages long. Who in their right mind is going to read all that verbiage?

EIA report on coal in US

Credit: EIA

The answer is, the folks at Utility Dive, that’s who. They have read every word, studied every chart, and report that the numbers show the amount of electricity generated in the US by coal fell by more than 13% in the first half of this year. During that same time, electricity from solar power grew by more than 10%. Natural gas also saw an increase of 6%.

The EIA says it expects coal to generate less than one quarter of the nation’s energy this year compared with about half only a decade ago. Clearly, coal power is in decline and sinking fast.

“It’s no mystery why coal is on the way out,” says Grant Smith, a senior energy policy advisor at the Environmental Working Group. “Old plants get increasingly expensive to run as they age and can readily be replaced by cheaper, cleaner and safer renewable energy sources. The industry’s hope that carbon capture technology will save coal is a pipe dream,” he adds. “Coal will never again be able to compete with solar and wind energy. There is simply no rationale for continued support of coal.”

The investment community is starting to agree. According to Utility Dive, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded its advice on the coal sector from stable to negative last week due primarily to an expected 3% decline in earnings in the second half of 2019 and a slide in profitability over the next year to 18 months.

“A confluence of economic, environmental and social factors also increase our concerns about the industry’s longer-term demand prospects, as pressure on the industry is mounting,” Moody’s said in a research note. It claims the downward trend will make “numerous coal mines uneconomic in a reduced demand environment, especially smaller, higher cost mines that are highly vulnerable to retirement of specific coal-fired power plants.”

Moody’s said its long-term outlook for US thermal coal “calls for a substantial volume reduction over the next decade driven by utilities switching to natural gas and renewable energy.” It goes on to say coal producers have a good supply of orders through the end of this year but “many have substantial open positions beyond that.” That’s code for “Nobody wants to buy your climate killing, death dealing coal any more.”

It’s all a result of the implacable force called capitalism, which ruthlessly seeks the lowest possible price in all situations. Once upon a time, coal held an economic advantage, but no more. Renewables such as wind and solar are cheaper than coal today. Soon they will be cheaper than natural gas and another fossil fuel will go the way of the dinosaurs. That can’t happen too soon if humanity hopes to avoid turning the Earth into a lifeless cinder.

 
 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

New Podcast: Cruise Talks Autonomous Driving Tech, Regulations, & Auto Design

New Podcast: Battery Mineral Mining Policies & Regional Trends

Written By

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his homes in Florida and Connecticut or anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. You can follow him on Twitter but not on any social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.

Comments

#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.

 

Support our work today!

Advertisement

Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports

Advertisement

EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats

Advertisement

Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Clean Transport

If all goes according to plan, a new hybrid hydrogen fuel cell locomotive will sport Toyota fuel cells and green H2, too.

Clean Power

GM doubles down on solar power for its Corvette factory in Kentucky with an assist from from Facebook, Shell's Silicon Ranch venture, and the...

Clean Transport

If all goes according to plan, the entire US locomotive fleet will switch over to diesel-killing hydrogen fuel cells and other non-diesel technologies.

Clean Power

Green energy gets a green makeover when new solar farm combines farming with solar panels and community benefits, too.

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.