Electricity

‹ See all Electricity Reports

Electricity Monthly Update

With Data for December 2014  |  Release Date: March 4, 2015  |  Next Release Date: March 26, 2015

Previous Issues

Electric Power Sector Coal Stocks: December 2014

 



In December, total U.S. coal stockpiles increased 7%, or 10 million tons, to 151 million tons from the previous month. This increase in coal stockpiles deviates from the normal pattern usually observed from November to December, as December is usually the first month where coal consumption for electricity generation outpaces the inventory 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 2014 was likely the reason why the increase in coal stockpiles was observed from November to December, as there was less of need to consume coal for electricity generation to meet the demand for heating. Despite this month-to-month increase, coal stockpiles are still relatively low compared to last December, having decreased by 12% compared to December 2013.

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 76 days in November to 79 days in December. On average, the days of burn at subbituminous units increased from 52 to 58 days of burn. Furthermore, the percentage of bituminous and subbituminous coal-fired capacity having less than 30 days of burn fell from 11% in November 2014 to 8% in December 2014.

Coal stocks and average number of days of burn for non-lignite coal by region (electric power sector)

  December 2014   December 2013   November 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
Northeast Bituminous 7,513 86   6,117 66 22.8% 7,072 81 6.2%
  Subbituminous 475 82   282 37 68.7% 427 83 11.3%
South Bituminous 35,188 85   39,654 97 -11.3% 33,735 84 4.3%
  Subbituminous 6,352 78   5,294 60 20.0% 5,497 60 15.6%
Midwest Bituminous 14,426 68   12,233 58 17.9% 13,712 65 5.2%
  Subbituminous 31,939 51   31,257 49 2.2% 29,923 47 6.7%
West Bituminous 5,421 65   6,202 75 -12.6% 5,543 62 -2.2%
  Subbituminous 25,773 68   24,565 64 4.9% 22,271 56 15.7%
U.S. Total Bituminous 62,549 79   64,205 81 -2.6% 60,063 76 4.1%
  Subbituminous 64,539 58   61,397 55 5.1% 58,117 52 11.1%

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.

Print this issue Download the data (csv)

In this Issue:

Highlights

End Use

Resource Use

Regional Wholesale Markets

Coal Stocks

Data Tables

About Electricity Monthly Update

Electricity Monthly Update Explained

Methodology & Documentation

Contact Information & Staff