U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Electricity Monthly Update
With Data for December 2014 | Release Date: March 4, 2015 | Next Release Date: March 26, 2015
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|
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.