U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Short-Term Energy Outlook
Low natural gas prices, weak electricity demand growth, and the need to comply with the implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) regulations have led several power producers to recently announce plans for the retirements of coal-fired facilities. On November 14, 2013 the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) announced that it was retiring eight coal-fired units with over 3,000 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity. The current retirement plans are an addition to TVA's retirement plans publicized in 2011. South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCEG) announced that it had ceased operations at its Canadys Station generating facility earlier in the month. The 300-MW plant's closing is part of SCEG's efforts to reduce emissions and comply with MATS regulations.
Consumers Energy (CE) has recently petitioned the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) to approve a bond issue to cover costs pertaining to the closure, decommission and demolition of three coal-fired power plants. CE stated that the units would be shut down because the installation of additional emissions controls necessary to achieve compliance with EPA environmental regulations would be uneconomical. MPSC approval of the bond issue is expected before the end of 2013.
U.S. Coal Supply
Coal production for the first ten months of 2013 was estimated to total 837 million short tons (MMst), 15 MMst (1.8%) lower than in the same period of 2012. EIA projects total coal production of 1,008 MMst in 2013 with inventory draws of nearly 37 MMst fulfilling most of the growth in consumption in 2013. Coal production is forecast to grow 2.5% to 1,033 MMst in 2014 as inventories stabilize and consumption increases.
U.S. Coal Consumption
EIA expects total coal consumption for 2013 to reach 928 MMst (a 4.4% increase over 2012). The increase was primarily a result of increased consumption in the electric power sector due to higher natural gas prices. Projected consumption grows more slowly (2.2%) to 948 MMst in 2014.
U.S. Coal Exports
EIA estimates that exports for the first three quarters of 2013 totaled 90 MMst, which was 8.1% (8 MMst) lower than the same period last year. EIA expects exports to total 118 MMst in 2013, down 7 MMst from last year. Exports are projected to total 107 MMst in 2014. Continuing economic weakness in Europe (the largest regional importer of U.S. coal), slowing Asian demand growth, increasing coal output in other coal-exporting countries, and falling international coal prices are the primary reasons for the expected decline in U.S. coal exports.
U.S. Coal Prices
EIA expects nominal annual average coal prices to the electric power industry to fall for the first time since 2000, from $2.40 per MMBtu in 2012 to $2.35 per MMBtu in 2013. EIA forecasts average delivered coal prices of $2.39 per MMBtu in 2014.
|U.S. Coal Summary|
|2011||2012||2013 projected||2014 projected|
|Prices||(dollars per million Btu)|
|Electric Power Sector||2.39||2.40||2.35||2.39|
|Supply||(million short tons)|
|U.S. Coal Production||1095.6||1016.4||1007.8||1033.2|
|Consumption||(million short tons)|
|Electric Power Sector||932.5||823.6||863.3||880.7|
|End of Period Inventories||(million short tons)|
|Electric Power Sector||172.4||185.1||151.3||149.6|
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