How intense is the gas versus coal competition? It is so intense that the increase in gas generation matches almost to the megawatt-hour the decreases in coal generation, according to EIA data for 2012 through September.
Electricity generation from gas-fired power plants in the US is up 201 billion kilowatt-hours through September 2012, when compared to the same period in 2011. Electricity generation from coal-fired power plants is down 200 billion kilowatt-hours in 2012. www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.cfm?t=epmt_1_10_b and eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.cfm?t=epmt_1_07_b.
The competition between coal and gas for power sales is intense, daily and hinges on the price of each. Moreover, this data debunks claims that the rise of shale gas and the corresponding jump in gas-fired generation has not led directly to a decline in coal generation and US carbon emissions.