Before April of last year, natural gas had never topped coal power. But 2015 closed out with a string of months where gas took the top slot, though the year ended with coal still generating slightly more energy. All-in-all, gas actually exceeded coal’s share in seven months last year, and EIA now indicates that trend is likely to grow.
“The recent decline in the generation share of coal, and the concurrent rise in the share of natural gas, was mainly a market-driven response to lower natural gas prices,” EIA said. Stricter environmental rules, including the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard and the planned Clean Power Plan, have also played a role.