For the First Time in Recorded Historyas reported by Reuters, “Gas-fired power plants in April produced the same amount of generation as coal using data from the Energy Information Energy Agency.
Since the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) began compiling monthly statistics, natural gas and coal had the same share of total net power generation, 32% during April, the agency said in a monthly update. Historically, coal has been the fuel of choice for power generation because coal prices have been lower than natural gas prices for much of the last decade. But sliding gas prices over the last year or so has made gas a more economic choice, allowing gas plants to increase their share of the nation's generation.
The EIA said the output of coal-fired units declined in all regions, while the output from natural gas-fired combined-cycle plants increased across the board. Coal consumption fell almost 23% to 51.5 million tons in April 2012 from the same month in the prior year. Natural gas consumption meanwhile increased to 744 million cubic feet, up almost 36% from the same month in the prior year.
Burn baby burn...