Coal's generation market share hit bottom in April, 2012, when it supplied 32% of America's electricity, and when natural gas fell to $1.80 for a thousand cubic feet. As gas prices and demand increase, coal generation recovers market share. www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=8450. By August coal provided 39% of the nation's power.
Natural gas prices are currently about $3.50 for a thousand cubic feet or 95% higher than in April. But despite the rise in gas prices that is helping coal to regain lost market share, coal is certain to fall below the 40% market share mark for all of 2012. Indeed, this year will be the lowest market share for coal in decades.
What will next year bring for coal? The market share for coal in 2013 will be higher--possibly back to 40%--for the simple reason that gas is likely to higher over the course of 2013 than it has been throughout 2012.