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Expand chart
Data: U.S. Energy Information Administration; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

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.

Go deeper

Nov 30, 2021 - Axios Denver

Denver takes steps to cut greenhouse gases from commercial buildings

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Denver is rapidly moving toward electrifying buildings and homes by eliminating gas ranges and fireplaces.

Driving the news: The Denver City Council unanimously approved an ordinance last week that will require large office and apartment buildings to use solar power and switch to electric and water heating systems by 2030.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Nov 30, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Battery price decline comes with a warning

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The latest data on lithium-ion battery prices shows the continued downward march that will help make electric cars and energy storage more competitive, but reveals storm clouds too.

Driving the news: Average battery pack prices fell another 6% from last year to $132 per kilowatt-hour, per the research firm BloombergNEF. That's an 89% decline since 2010 in inflation-adjusted dollars.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Nov 30, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Putting gasoline prices in perspective

Expand chart
Reproduced from Energy Institute at Haas; Chart: Axios Visuals

This may be cold comfort to anyone feeling the pinch of higher gasoline prices, but a new analysis explains why looking only at per-gallon costs tells an incomplete story.

How it works: University of California economist Severin Borenstein's commentary offers other metrics to look at prices nationwide and in his state, the nation's costliest.