U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Electricity Monthly Update
With Data for August 2014 | Release Date: Oct. 24, 2014 | Next Release Date: Nov. 24, 2014
Electric Power Sector Coal Stocks: August 2014
Total U.S. coal stocks decreased by 4.3 million tons compared to the previous month. This decrease in coal stocks follows the seasonal pattern where a significant decrease in coal stocks occurs in the summer as power plants consume more coal to meet increased electricity demand during the summer months. Furthermore, compared to the previous August, total U.S. coal stocks are down 21.5%. 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 53 days the previous month to 67 days in August 2014, while the total subbituminous supply increased from 39 days in July 2014 to 41 days in August 2014.
Coal stocks and average number of days of burn for non-lignite coal by region (electric power sector)
|August 2014||August 2013||July 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.