Natural gas vis-a-vis coal prices 1980-2018

Cost of coal and natural gas for electric generation in the U.S. from 1980 to 2018 (in U.S. dollars per million British thermal units)*

by T. Wang, last edited Aug 9, 2019
Natural gas vis-a-vis coal prices 1980-2018 In the last couple decades, the price of natural gas used for electricity generation has increased slightly to 3.55 U.S. dollars per million British thermal units (Btu) in 2018. The price of coal was about 2.06 U.S. dollars per million Btu. The cost of using some fossil fuels to generate electricity has been recently found to be more expensive than renewable energy. Natural gas is cheapest in regions like the Coastal Plain, where natural gas production is high.
Shift Away from Conventional Energy Sources

Although renewable technologies were once thought to be very expensive, the rapid advancement of these technologies have quickly rendered the cost of energy generation at a level on par to conventional fossil fuels. The aging coal fleet is a prime example of the increasing necessity to switch to carbon neutral technologies. Older coal plants are dealing with increasing maintenance costs as well as environmental regulations forcing the installation of pollution controls. Demand for natural gas is also impacting coal demand. Unlike wind and solar resources, natural gas resources seem to be sensitive to carbon prices.
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Cost of coal and natural gas for electric generation in the U.S. from 1980 to 2018 (in U.S. dollars per million British thermal units)*

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Statistics on "Coal energy industry in the U.S."
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  • Coal energy consumption
  • Coal electricity generation
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