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US coal generation jumps in February

22 Apr 2010 22:38 (+01:00 GMT)
US coal generation jumps in February

Washington, 22 April (Argus) — Coal-fired electricity generation in the US jumped 8.1pc on the year in February as below-average temperatures blanketed the South, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported today.

The increase in coal generation, which was the second largest fuel-specific gain that month, reduced utility coal inventories by 3.5pc from January levels to 169.6mn short tons, but this was still up 5.5pc on the year.

The cold weather, along with a modest pickup in the economy, helped total electricity generation in February climb 5.7pc from a year ago. By fuel, natural gas generation was up 5.2pc on the year while conventional hydroelectric generation grew 14.2pc and nuclear edged up 1.6pc.

Conventional hydrogenation marked the largest fuel-specific percentage gain on the year, with the comparison benefiting from below-average rainfall a year ago, EIA said.

In the first two months of the year, higher power demand and more favorable gas price comparisons helped coal consumption in the electric power sector gain 3.2pc from the same time in 2009. But persistently low gas prices have helped keep demand for coal's competing fuel supported as well — combined gas consumption for January and February was up 9.7pc on the year.

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