Coal Drops 36% in Four Years

The grid’s coal plants produced 101 million megawatt-hours in January. According to the Energy Department’s latest report on Tuesday afternoon.

This is a new record low.

It’s a fifteen percent drop from last January. It’s a thirty-six percent drop from January 2015, just four years ago. And it’s a forty-five percent drop from January 2008, eleven years ago.

Coal plants produced twenty-eight percent of the grid’s electricity. A bit over a quarter.

Natural gas plants produced thirty-three percent. Exactly one-third.

Zero carbon plants produced thirty-eight percent. Nuclear, hydro, wind and other renewables are nearly two-fifths of the total.

January 2008 was coal’s peak this century. Coal plants produced fifty percent of the grid’s electricity that month. Exactly half.

Contrast with this January, when coal plants produced a bit over a quarter.