The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects coal's share of U.S. generation to decline through 2019 as that of natural gas increases to 35%.
In its latest "Short-Term Energy Outlook" released Oct. 10, the agency projects the nation's electricity production will average 11.4 million MWh per day in 2018 before declining 1.7% in 2019 to 11.2 million MWh/d.
According to the report, coal will supply 27.8% of U.S. electricity in 2018, down from the prior projection of 28.3%, to natural gas' share of 34.8%, up from the prior projection of 34.1%. In 2019, the EIA predicts coal will provide 26.8% of U.S. electricity to natural gas' share of 35.0%.
The prior projection had coal's 27.3% share behind natural gas' 34.8% share.
The EIA predicts delivered coal prices will average $2.09/MMBtu and $2.10/MMBtu in 2018 and 2019, respectively, against delivered natural gas prices of $3.42/MMBtu for both years.
The federal agency cut its 2018 power-sector coal demand forecast by 1.2% versus the prior forecast to 640 million tons, while it cut its 2019 projection by 1.9% to 604 million tons.
The EIA lowered its 2018 domestic coal production outlook by 1.6% versus the prior outlook to 756 million tons and lowered its 2019 outlook 1.7% to 743 million tons.
The agency lowered its 2018 year-end power-sector stockpile forecast by 5.5% versus the prior outlook to 114.7 million tons, while it lowered its 2019 year-end stockpile projection by 4.1% to 116.9 million tons.
The government expects 2018 U.S. coal exports to reach 108.3 million tons, up 1.1% versus the prior outlook, while it cut its 2019 export outlook by 0.1% to 100.4 million tons.