U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Electricity Monthly Update
With Data for January 2015 | Release Date: March 27, 2015 | Next Release Date: April 24, 2015
Electric Power Sector Coal Stocks: January 2015
In January, total U.S. coal stockpiles increased 2%, or nearly 4 million tons, to 155 million tons from the previous month. This increase in coal stockpiles deviates from the normal pattern usually observed during the winter months, when coal consumption for electricity generation usually outpaces the delivery of coal received at power plants due to the need to meet winter heating demand. The warmer than average temperatures experienced throughout the country in December 2015 and January 2015 helps explain the increase in coal stockpiles, as there was less of need to consume coal for electricity generation to meet the demand for heating. Also, the significantly lower price for natural gas made coal a less competitive fuel source in some regions. Coal stockpiles increased 16% over levels observed last January.
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 days of burn at bituminous units increased from the previous month, going from 79 days in December to 81 days in January. On average, the days of burn at subbituminous units increased from 58 to 69 days of burn. The percentage of bituminous and subbituminous coal-fired capacity having less than 30 days of burn fell from 8% in December 2014 to 4% in January 2015.
Coal stocks and average number of days of burn for non-lignite coal by region (electric power sector)
|January 2015||January 2014||December 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.