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July 27, 2011

Energy from Coal Lowest in Decades

Coal

The U.S. Energy Information Administration today indicated that coal's share in the country's total power generation has hit a 30-year low. The report states that the slack from coal's slow-motion swan song is being made up by an uptick in natural gas. Coal prices are rising, while natural gas prices aren't. "Even the coal-rich Midwest is using less of its prized resource, although it still makes up nearly 70 percent of the electricity generation in the region," reports greentechmedia, which adds that wind and solar have a long way to go if they want to match coal's muscle. Nevertheless, the horizon looks sunny and windy for the clean-energy sector:

Renewables can't claim a win over coal by any stretch of the imagination, but generation from wind was up 25 percent from April 2010. Although California, Texas and Illinois have the largest gains, EIA said the gains were widespread across the U.S. As aggressive renewable portfolio standards are implemented in the next decade, renewables (and not just hydro) will continue to increase.

-- Brian Foley

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