Recently published data from the US Energy Information Administration show that monthly electric power generation from natural gas-fired plants nearly equaled that from coal-fired plants in April, marking the first time this has been so since EIA began compiling these data.
Each type of electric power generation supplied about 32% of total generation during that month, EIA reported using preliminary data.
In April, EIA reported net electric generation from gas-fired plants was 95.9 million Mw-hr, only slightly below the 96 million Mw-hr supplied from coal-fired plants.
These data are subject to change, EIA said, adding that final 2011 data will be released this fall, and 2012 data will be revised at that time.
“Preliminary data are derived from a survey of a sample of large power plants, and final data come from a census of all power plants,” EIA reported, adding, “For 2010, the difference between preliminary and final net generation data from all sources was 0.1%.”
EIA said, “In April 2012, demand was low due to the mild spring weather. Also in April, natural gas prices as delivered to power plants were at a 10-year low. With warmer summer weather and increased electric demand for air conditioning, demand will increase, requiring increased output from both coal- and natural gas-fired generators.”