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Total US gas-fired generation overtakes coal burn for 1st time ever

“The war on coal” might have just witnessed another battle in April as the latest “Electric Power Monthly” data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show total natural gas-fired electric generation in April surpassed coal-fired power generation for the first time in history.

The June 25 report from the EIA showed 92,516 GWh was produced in April using gas compared to 88,835 GWh produced using coal. This means that natural gas drove 31% of all electric-power generation in April, up from 22% in April 2010. At the same time, the share of power coming from coal has fallen from 44% in April 2010 to 30% this past April.


While this is the least amount of monthly electricity produced by coal in more than a decade, it is by no means the most power produced using gas. In 2012, another low-price year for natural gas, 138,863 GWh was produced in July and 131,736 GWh was produced in August.


To some degree, the latest statistics reflect the low-demand season with both fuels showing a big drop from the winter months. April’s power production from gas was down almost 9% from the 101,330 GWh produced from gas in January while coal’s power output in April was down more than 33% from the 132,742 GWh produced from coal in January.

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