U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Electricity Monthly Update
With Data for April 2015 | Release Date: June 25, 2015 | Next Release Date: July 24, 2015
Electric Power Sector Coal Stocks: April 2015
In April, U.S. coal stockpiles increased to 168 million tons, up 8% from the previous month. This large increase in March-to-April coal stockpiles follows the normal spring pattern where coal stockpiles are usually built up for use in the summer months. The spring build-up of coal stock piles started early this year, as the country experienced significantly above-average temperatures during the previous month, which led to a decreased demand for heating during March 2015 and thus, a decreased need for electricity generation. Coal has also lost market share to natural gas in all regions of the country.
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. For bituminous units largely located in the eastern United States, the average number of days of burn declined from 78 days to 76 days of forward-looking days of burn estimates. For subbituminous units largely located in the western United States, the average number of days of burn decreased, going from 79 days in March to 77 days in April. The percentage of bituminous and subbituminous coal-fired capacity having less than 30 days of burn decreased in April to 5.6% from 7.9% in March. This is a much lower percentage than last April, however, when over 13% of units had less than 30 days of burn.
Coal stocks and average number of days of burn for non-lignite coal by region (electric power sector)
|April 2015||April 2014||March 2015|
|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.