An analysis by Barclays Capital of the power markets projects that gas will capture another 14% of coal's generation market share in 2012--an extraordinary number. A Barclay analyst described US coal-fired generators as "frightened" by low natural gas prices and hammered home the point that natural gas is shifting US power production much more strongly from coal than the two EPA air rule packages, one of which has been enjoined by a federal court. http://www.platts.com/RSSFeedDetailedNews/RSSFeed/Coal/6014364.
Barclays notes that gas displaced little coal in 2008, when gas prices were high, and before shale gas production boomed. But as shale gas boomed and gas prices began their steep decline, "...gas took 9% of coal's market share in 2009, 8% in 2010, 12% in 2011..."
If gas does indeed take another 14% of coal's 2011 market share in 2012, by my calculation, coal's 2012 market share could decline to 36%, an unimaginable number as recently as 2008.
The scale and pace of change in how America is producing electricity is one of this nation's most important unfolding events that this blog will be following daily.