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Monthly coal- and natural-gas fired generation equal for first time in April 2012

Published by
World Coal,

Recently published electric power data shows that, for the first time since the Energy Information Administration (EIA) began collecting the data, power generation from natural gas-fired plants is virtually equal to generation from coal-fired plants, with each fuel providing 32% of total generation. In April 2012, preliminary data shows net electric generation from natural gas was 95.9 million MWh, only slightly below generation from coal, at 96 million MWh.

The 2011 and 2012 data shown above are preliminary and are subject to change (final 2011 data will be released this fall, and 2012 data will be revised at that time). Preliminary data are derived from a survey of a sample of large power plants, and final data come from a census of all power plants. For 2010, the difference between preliminary and final net generation data from all sources was 0.1%.

There are strong seasonal trends in the overall demand for electric power. In April 2012, demand was low due to the mild spring weather. Also in April, natural gas prices as delivered to power plants were at a 10 year low. 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.

Adapted from press release by


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