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Gas predicted to bypass coal in power generation by 2040

By Ken Ward Jr.

Charleston Gazette

CHARLESTON, W.VA. — Natural gas will overtake coal to provide the largest share of U.S. electrical power generation by 2040, according to the latest projections from the federal Department of Energy.

Natural gas will produce about 35 percent of total U.S. generation, compared to 32 percent for coal, in 2040, according to the department’s Energy Information Administration estimates.

“Projected low prices for natural gas make it a very attractive fuel for new generating capacity,” the agency said in a preview of its 2014 Annual Energy Outlook. “In some areas, natural gas-fired generation replaces generation formerly supplied by coal and nuclear.”

Just last year, the EIA had projected coal to maintain its dominance over natural gas, with 35 percent of generation in 2040, compared to 30 percent for natural gas…

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