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Coal's share of generation rises in July, but still lags behind natural gas

Coal made up 32.1% of US power generation in July, its highest share since January, but still lagged behind natural gas for the month, US Energy Information Administration data showed Thursday.

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Coal-fired power plants generated 128.3 TWh in July, up 18.7% from June, but down 6% from the year-ago month, according to the agency's Electric Power Monthly report. The July total also dropped 13.2% from the five-year average for the month.

Coal's share of US power generation peaked this year at 33.9% in January, while its lowest total share was 27.8% in April.

Natural-gas fired plants generated 142.4 TWh in July, up 24.7% from June but down 6.2% from last year. July's total was up 6.4% from the five-year average for the month.

Gas generated 35.6% of US power in July, the highest since September 2016. Share peaked at 37.8% in August 2016, then dipped to 27.2% in February of this year.

For the year, coal has generated 30.4% of US electricity while gas has generated 30.3%.

Wind generation totaled 15.7 TWh in July, down 19.1% from June, down 10.7% from the year-ago month, but up 23.9% from the five-year average for the month.

In July, wind made up 3.9% of US power generation. Year to date, it has made up 4% of US generation.

Utility-scale solar generation totaled 5.5 TWh in July, down 11.6% from June, but up 37.8% from the year-ago month. For the year, utility-scale solar has made up 1.4% of US power generation.

Power from renewables, including hydro, totaled 54.4 TWh in July, down 13.4% from June, but up 9.2% from last year. Total share of generation in July was 13.6%, while year-to-date generation makes up 18.5%.

Total US power generation at utility-scale facilities came to 400 TWh in July, up 12.4% from June, but down 3.4% from last year and 0.5% from the five-year average for the month. Year-to-date US power generation totaled 2,318 TWh, down 1.8% from the comparable period a year ago.

--Andrew Moore,

--Edited by Valarie Jackson,