09 Mar '12, 7pm

In 2011, Coal Produced Less than 40% of US Electricity for First Time in 30 Years

In 2011, Coal Produced Less than 40% of US Electricity for First Time in 30 Years

Danny K Boyd via Flickr /CC BY 2.0 The percentage of electricity generated in coal-fired power plants fell to its lowest level since 1978 at the end of last year, the U.S. Energy Information Administran reports . The EIA cites warmer weather and cheaper natural gas prices (which led to expanded generation) as the primary reason that coal generation is dropping—though shuttered coal plants, an expanding renewable energy sector, and recession-inspired energy conservation are factors as well. Here's a chart of coal's share in electricity generation in the US over the last three years: EIA /Public Domain Coal-fired power plants, as you'll recall, are the number one source of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. They also impose a tremendous toll on public health . So it's welcome news that its share of the energy pie is diminishing, even if it is often being replaced at the mom...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/fossil-fuels/2011-coal-produced...

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