U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Electricity Monthly Update
With Data for September 2014 | Release Date: Nov. 25, 2014 | Next Release Date: Dec. 23, 2014
Electric Power Sector Coal Stocks: September 2014
Total U.S. coal stocks increased by 3.1 million tons compared to the previous month. This increase in coal stocks follows the normal seasonal pattern where coal plants begin to build up coal stocks during the autumn months in preperation for increased coal consumption during the winter. However, total U.S. coal stocks are still relatively low compared to the past several years, and compared to the previous September, total U.S. coal stocks are down 18.4%. This large decrease in year-over-year stockpile levels is the result of increased coal-fired electricity generation during a long, cold winter across much of the U.S. and decreased coal deliveries due to lingering rail transportation issues. Certain coal-fired generators have been forced to receive coal by truck and lower or completely idle output due to rail delivery problems. Record grain harvests in 2013 and 2014 and increasing shipments of petroleum products are in some cases contending with coal deliveries and have strained rail capacity on certain lines.
Days of burn
The average number of days of burn held at electric power plants is a forward looking estimate of coal supply given a power plant's current stockpile and past consumption patterns. The total bituminous supply increased from 67 days the previous month to 81 days in September 2014, while the total subbituminous supply increased from 41 days in August 2014 to 46 days in September 2014.
Coal stocks and average number of days of burn for non-lignite coal by region (electric power sector)
|September 2014||September 2013||August 2014|
|Zone||Coal||Stocks (1000 tons)||Days of Burn||Stocks (1000 tons)||Days of Burn||% Change of Stocks||Stocks (1000 tons)||Days of Burn||% Change of Stocks|
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration
NOTE: Stockpile levels shown above reflect a sample of electric power sector plants, which were used to create the days of burn statistics. These levels will not equal total electric power sector stockpile levels.