On Friday, the EIA announced 8.5% of the country’s coal-fired production capacity would be shut down. This is largely due to the relative affordabiltiy of natural gas energy.
This is welcome news for environmentalists.
But for certain parts of the country (namely, obviously, “coal country”), this is less-than-great news.
But all is not lost for King Coal, for better or worse.
According to the EIA’s annual energy outlook for 2012, coal will still dominate under every possible scenario, except a punitive greenhouse gas emission regime, through 2035.
While there’s unlikely to be any new capacity coming online, overall electricity demand will begin to increase after 2015, EIA coal expert Mike Mellish told us.
“Basically, we start using existing capacity more fully,” he said.