The conventional wisdom is that dirty, polluting coal is the fuel of the past, and that any day now the power plants that burn coal will be phased out and shut down.
Taking the place of coal will be clean-burning natural gas and clean, green solar and wind power.
Not at all.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration says that with natural gas prices now on the rise, (around $3.50 per MMBtu now) there will be less switching in 2013 than in 2012. In fact, the EIA figures that gas burned to make electricity will actually fall from a record 25 bcfd in 2012 to 23.1 bcfd in 2013.
And while the amount of coal consumed by American power generators is down about 15% from the 1 billion tons per year average of the 2000s, the EIA expects the domestic coal burn to inch up to 859 million tons in 2013 and 870 million in 2014.
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