WASHINGTON, DC - A newly released Department of Energy report shows that many power producers are turning to coal as the most economic and abundant national resource for electricity generation. The report, titled Tracking New Coal-Fired Power Plants, was developed by the Office of Fossil Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to provide a snapshot of coal's resurgence in the generation of electric power.
The report was derived from a database that NETL maintains to track proposals for new coal-fired power plants. Created in 2002, the database is updated quarterly as new information is released and cataloged. The results contained in the database are derived from information publicly available from a variety of tracking organizations and news groups.
Highlights from the report, which includes summary charts of proposed advanced boiler technologies and feedstocks in slide format, include the following:
- One hundred forty-five (145) gigawatts of new coal-capacity are projected to be
needed by 2030
according to the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration.
- Ninety (90) gigawatts of new coal-fired power plants are under consideration or
If built, the plants will be critical in helping to meet future electricity demand in the United States. The new and proposed plants would theoretically produce enough electricity to power 90 million homes.
Coal is vital to the nation's energy security. Providing more than 50 percent of U.S. electricity, coal is an abundant, domestic energy source with more than a 250-year supply at current use rates. America's coal reserves, estimated at 272 billion tons, contain more energy potential than all of the oil in the Middle East.
Proposals to build new power plants are often speculative and the ultimate decision on whether a plant will be built is based upon the economic climate of regional power generation markets. Although comprehensive, the information in the new report is not intended to represent every possible plant under consideration, but instead illustrates the large potential emerging for new coal-fired power plants.