For the first time, natural gas has tied with coal. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says that energy generation from natural gas-fired plants became “virtually equal” to energy generation from coal-fired plants in April.
Preliminary data shows that each fuel provides 32 percent of total energy generation, with natural gas generating 95.9 million megawatt hours – a figure just slightly less than that of coal, at 96 million megawatt hours.
According to the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook, natural gas production has increased. The reason? More drilling in “shale plays with high concentrations of natural gas” and “recent technological advances.” Texas has seen its fair share of this development with increased drilling in the Eagle Ford and Barnett Shale.
And the EIA projects that over the next 25 years, electricity generation from coal will fall to 38 percent – the result of increased competition from natural gas and renewable energy, along with the impact of new environmental regulations.
Sheyda Aboii is an intern with StateImpact Texas.