Coal exports rebound thanks to rising gas prices
Coal is experiencing a mini U.S. rebound thanks to higher prices for natural gas domestically and in key global markets.
Driving the news: U.S. coal exports are 29% higher this year, the Energy Information Administration said in its monthly outlook Tuesday.
- "Higher U.S. exports reflect rising global demand for coal amid high natural gas prices," EIA said.
- Coal consumption in the U.S. power sector is slated to be 18% higher this year than 2020, also reflecting higher gas prices.
Yes, but: EIA notes coal-fired power has not increased as much in response to gas prices as in the past, due to lower supplies.
The big picture: Coal, the most CO2-intensive fuel, once provided over half of U.S. power but has bled market share to gas and renewables over the last decade.
- It fell to 20% of total U.S. generation last year but is reviving to 23% this year, per EIA.
- White House climate policy is aimed at fully decarbonizing the power sector by 2035.
- But turning that into reality likely rests on major incentives and investments Democrats are struggling to move through Congress.