EIA


According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), 121 U.S. coal-fired power plants were repurposed to burn other types of fuels between 2011 and 2019, 103 of which were converted to or replaced by natural gas-fired plants. At the end of 2010, 316.8 gigawatts (GW) of coal-fired capacity existed in the United States, but by the end of 2019, 49.2 GW of that amount was retired, 14.3 GW had the boiler converted to burn natural gas, and 15.3 GW was replaced with natural gas combined cycle. The decision for plants to switch from coal to natural gas was driven by stricter emission standards, low natural gas prices, and more efficient new natural gas turbine technology.

More than 100 coal-fired plants have been replaced or converted to natural gas since 2011 - oilandgas360

Two different methods are used to switch coal-fired plants to natural gas. The first method is to retire the coal-fired plant and replace it with a new natural gas-fired combined-cycle (NGCC) plant. The second method is to convert the boiler of a coal-fired steam plant to burn other types of fuel, such as natural gas.

Between 2011 and 2019, owners of 17 coal-fired plants adopted the first method, replacing old coal-fired power plants with new NGCC plants. The new NGCC plants have a total generating capacity of 15.3 GW, 94% more than the 7.9 GW capacity of the coal-fired power plants they replaced. The increase in capacity is largely a result of the advanced turbine technology installed in NGCC plants.

More than 100 coal-fired plants have been replaced or converted to natural gas since 2011 - oilandgas360 Fig 2

 


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