BENTEK: U.S. natural gas power generation market share nearly equal to coal

Low gas prices are enabling utilities to rapidly approach compliance with the CSAPR, which has propelled natural gas demand for power generation to record highs.
Aug. 7, 2012 - PRLog -- EVERGREEN, CO (August 7, 2012) – A new Market Alert from BENTEK Energy, Gas Burn Key as Emissions Fall in U.S., reports U.S. power generation from natural gas reached 32% of total fuel market share in May 2012, which is nearly equal to the 34% of coal-fired generation recorded for the same time period.  The Market Alert states that due to the lower emissions from natural gas power generation compared to coal, the increasing use of gas in the power sector is a key factor in helping states comply with the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), which seeks to limit cross-state pollution in the form of SO2 and NOx emissions.  With the CSAPR scheduled to take effect in 2014 and low prices for natural gas leading to more gas burn, 175 coal-fired generators are expected to retire approximately 27 GW of capacity between 2012 and 2016, which amounts to more than 8% of total 2011 coal-fired capacity.

BENTEK’s data shows many power plants impacted by the CSAPR already have made changes to comply with the new emissions rules, with the share of natural gas-fired generation increasing as the share of coal decreases.  The federal government has said the share of U.S. electricity from coal-fired power will end the year below 40%, the lowest level since World War II.  Natural gas’ share of electricity production is expected to be around 30% at year-end, up 10% since 2008.

Gas Burn Key as Emissions Fall in U.S. is based on data from BENTEK’s GenCast, which refines actual hourly emissions, fuel usage and generation data from the EPA’s Continuous Emissions Monitoring System (CEMS) into a query-optimized format that enables analysis at every U.S. power plant boiler larger than 25 MW, including fuel switching.  The GenCast database allows subscribers to look at power plants across the country, including those affected by CSAPR, and see which plants are compliant with the new federal rules and which plants are trending toward compliance.

This Market Alert includes dynamic graphs and charts that allow readers to click through to an Analytical Storyboard, which follows this story on a day-to-day basis as market developments unfold.  This feature is for clients only and is only accessible with Internet Explorer.  

For more information about BENTEK’s Gas Burn Key as Emissions Fall in U.S. or GenCast database, go to or call 1-888-251-1264.

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Tags:Natural Gas Fuel Market Share, Coal-to-gas Switching, CSAPR, U.S. emissions standards
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