“In the past year, coal plants have been facing a perfect storm of falling natural gas prices, a continued trend of high coal prices and weak demand for electricity,” Susan Tierney wrote in the report.
Tierney wrote that those factors have combined to make coal a less desirable fuel source.
Coal-generated electricity has been waning over the past few years, dropping to its lowest level on record in March of this year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
At the same time, natural gas-powered plants are becoming increasingly popular as the price of the fuel falls to record prices and few emissions emitted by natural gas.
According to Doyle Trading Consultants, the trend is expected to continue as more than 41,000 megawatts from coal-fired power plants could be retired by 2020. If true, the coal-fired fleet would be cut by 17 percent in eight years.
In 2010, we imported less than 50 percent of the oil our nation consumed—the first time that’s happened in 13 years—and the trend continued in 2011.