U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Electricity Monthly Update
With Data for May 2015 | Release Date: July 27, 2015 | Next Release Date: August 25, 2015
Electric Power Sector Coal Stocks: May 2015
In May, U.S. coal stockpiles increased to 175 million tons, up 4% from the previous month. This increase in April-to-May 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 76 days to 74 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 77 days in April to 71 days in May. The percentage of bituminous and subbituminous coal-fired capacity having less than 30 days of burn remained relatively flat, going from 5.6% in April to 5.3% in May. This is a much lower percentage than last May, when over 16% 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)
|May 2015||May 2014||April 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.