By Will Wade
Coal supplied about 20% of U.S. electricity last year and may rebound to as much as 22% in 2021 as higher natural gas prices prompt utilities to shift their fuel mix, according to Energy Department forecasts. But that short-term rebound won’t overcome the global shift toward cleaner sources of electricity, a trend that’s getting a big push from President Joe Biden’s pledge to put the U.S. on a path to an all-green power system.
Gas prices may climb 48% this year, which “drives coal generation and the sector’s carbon footprint to increase in 2021 but we continue to project a constant decline thereafter,” Morgan Stanley analysts said in the report.
(Michael Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, has committed $500 million to launch Beyond Carbon, a campaign aimed at closing the remaining coal-powered plants in the U.S. by 2030.)