EIA panel to explore competition between coal, natural gas

Published on June 21, 2017 by Daily Energy Insider Reports

A panel at the 2017 U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) Energy Conference will explore competition between coal and natural gas, which will be held from June 26 to 27 in Washington, D.C.

The panel will cover the topic from three perspectives: technology for coal to natural gas conversions,
impact on the electric system dispatch order and the effect of lower coal demand on the railroad industry.

Stan Kaplan, director of EIA’s Office of Electricity, Renewables, and Uranium Statistics, will moderate the panel. Speakers on the panel include Robert DiDona of Energy Ventures Analysis, Inc., Robin Bedilion of Electric Power Research Institute, Jamie Heller of Hellerworx, Inc.

The competition between coal and natural gas for electricity generation plays a central role in setting wholesale electricity prices, EIA said. Changes in the use of natural gas and coal in electricity generation also impacts the production, transport and storage of coal and natural gas.

Coal surpassed natural as the leading generation source in 2016 and provided 34 percent of total U.S. electricity generation. Natural gas first became the most common electricity fuel on a monthly basis in April 2015 and on an annual basis in 2016.

Every state except Vermont has at least one natural gas plant. Nearly 228 gigawatts (GW) of capacity fueled by natural gas was added over the past 15 years, while 54 GW of natural gas was retired. Over the same period, 20 GW of coal-fired capacity was added, and over 53 GW was retired.