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Coal, natural gas provides 63% of US electricity generation in 2018

JAKARTA ( – The U.S. fossil fuels will still provide most of the electricity generated in the United States, despite rapid growth of renewable energy resources.

According to the US’ Energy Information Administration (EIA), coal and natural gas combined provided 63% of electricity generation in 2018 and EIA forecasts that they will provide 61% in 2020.

Natural gas fueled 35% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2018, up from 24% in 2010. In contrast, the share of total generation from coal-fired power plants fell to 28% last year from 45% in 2010.

EIA forecasts the natural gas generation share will grow to 37% by 2020 and coal will continue declining to 24% by 2020.

Coal was the predominant generation fuel in the United States for decades, but in 2016, annual U.S. electricity generation from natural gas-fired power plants surpassed coal-fired generation. Since then, natural gas has remained the primary source of electricity.

Source: EIA

In addition to environmental regulations that led to retiring or modifying U.S. coal power plants, the electric power sector’s switch to natural gas from coal has been driven by the sustained low cost of natural gas.

Between 2016 and 2018, the price of natural gas delivered to electricity generators averaged about $3.25 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) compared with $5.09/MMBtu in 2010.

The increased overall efficiency of the natural gas power plant fleet has also allowed natural gas to increase its market competitiveness. (*)

Edited by Roffie Kurniawan (email:

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