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Low US electricity demand would hit coal-fired power

Published by
World Coal,

In this year’s Annual Energy Outlook from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the Reference Case assumes electricity generation will increase by 29% to 2040 at an annual rate of 0.9%. In this case, coal consumption increases by an average of 0.3% from 2012 to 2014 and a small amount of coal-fired power is added.

But the EIA also considered a low-electricity demand case in which electricity generation is just 7% higher than 2012 levels. Under this scenario, both coal and gas generation decline compared to the Reference Case with no new coal-fired capacity added after 2020 and only 22GW of gas capacity added. In contrast, nuclear and renewables increase their shares in the energy mix.

This lower demand and consequent lower electricity demand drives additional retirements of coal-fired power capacity, with total coal-fired generation dropping 20% on the Reference Case by 2040. The largest decreases in coal generation (and the largest retirements of coal-fired capacity) occur in the southeastern and midwestern US. 

Adapted from press release by

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