Natural gas outpaces coal in electricity generation

Dec 2, 2015

Natural gas has again risen over coal as a nationwide fuel source.

Government data for September shows natural gas as the main source for U.S. power generation.

It’s the fourth time this year – and ever – that gas has been top fuel source in a month, according to SNL Energy.

Gas in September edged out coal 35 percent to 34 percent, although coal has still been used more for the first nine months. U.S. Energy Information Administration data show a 15.6 percent increase in natural gas electricity generation compared with September 2014, while coal generation fell 6 percent.

Natural gas is an increasing energy source as energy companies use hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling to sever it from the ground. It’s generally cheaper than coal-fired generation and is partially replacing coal plants that are closing in part because of environmental regulations.