Curtis Tate Published

Federal Data: Coal Falls 21 Percent Year To Date In U.S. Electricity Mix

An idled power plant sits in silence on a hazy summer day as seen from the side of a state highway with empty stacks soaring into the sky.
The Pleasants Power Station ceased producing electricity on June 1.
Curtis Tate/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Coal continues a steep decline as a source of the nation’s electricity.

From January to August, coal fell more than 21 percent from last year. That’s according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Electric Power Monthly Report.

Natural gas, which has been the dominant fuel for electricity for several years, increased more than 7 percent.

Solar posted the most growth year-to-date, increasing more than 11 percent. Wind, however, fell about 3 percent.

Despite the activation of the nation’s first nuclear power plant in a generation in Georgia, nuclear’s share of the nation’s electricity stayed basically flat.

Coal’s decline may continue, with lower natural gas prices and federal incentives to build more renewables and battery storage.

According to EIA data, coal consumption for electricity generation also declined about 21 percent during January to August. Natural gas consumption increased 7 percent during that time.