Natural Gas Overtakes Coal As Leading Electricity Source In April

Jul 14, 2015

In April, for the first time ever, the US got more of its electricity from natural gas than coal, according to new data from the Energy Information Administration. The numbers show 32 percent of electricity generated that month came from natural gas, while just 30 percent came from coal.

Natural gas has been steadily encroaching on coal’s market share in recent years. Thanks to the fracking boom, natural gas prices are hovering near 10-year lows. New environmental regulations have also forced many coal fired power plants to shut down, and they’re being replaced with natural gas, in part because it works well alongside wind and solar.

Since last April, electricity generated from natural gas has climbed 20 percent, while coal saw a similar decline.

While natural gas is growing quickly though, it isn't the biggest growth area. Solar increased even faster—almost 60 percent over last year. But even with its rapid rise, solar still provides just a tiny fraction of overall electricity.

The amount of natural gas consumed in Wyoming has also increased, but the vast majority of its electricity production still comes from coal.