coal fired power generation rose 21% in March 2013
According to a recent report released from Genscape’s Generation Fuel Monitoring Service, coal fired power generation rose 21% in March 2013 compared to March 2012. The report links the rise of coal-fired generation to rising prices for natural gas.
That is nice, but the real reason for the change was a huge difference in weather. NG usage was up by some 20% as well. People do not like to be cold in their homes. I used no heat at all last year in March. This year had a snowstorm and the heat was on again earlier this week. Presume burning more coal.
Steam coal issues are two fold - air purity standards and the simple fact that Appalachia has been mining coal for over 100 years and all the easy cheap coal is gone. Thus the move to the Illinois Basin and out west. Met coal is simple to the economy and demand being low. When the WORLDWIDE economy improves so will met coal pricing.
whatever the reason, coal inventories are down across the country. perhaps this is short term (tho plenty of people think the NG gas move up has lots more life in it), but... the long term is a series of short terms. as long as the short terms work for us... i'm OK with that. and clip 12%.