TABLE 3-3 Various Coal Consumption Forecasts, 2000 and 2010 (in millions of tons)

Year/Forecast

EIA AEO94

DRI

GRI

WEFA

2000

Production

1,081

1,090

1,091

1,060

Consumption

958

961

973

958

Power generation

837

844

863

847

2010

Production

1,223

1,379

1,333

1,278

Consumption

1,079

1,237

1,182

1,165

Power generation

950

1,004

1,077

1,053

NOTES:

EIA AEO94, Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook, 1994.

DRI, Data Resources, Inc./McGraw Hill.

GRI, Gas Research Institute.

WEFA, Wharton Economic Forecasting Association, The WEFA Group.

Source: EIA (1994a).

billion tons. Estimates of recoverable reserves vary with location. They are typically about 60 percent of DRB for eastern underground mines and 90 percent of DRB for western surface mines (NCA, 1993b). 2 Resource limitations are not expected to be important within the time horizon considered in this study.

All projections for U.S. coal consumption indicate that coal will continue to be a major source of fuel for electricity generation up to and beyond 2010. A range of forecasts is shown in Table 3-3. Estimates of coal's share of the power generation market in 2010 range from 45 to 58 percent, slightly lower on average than the current value of 56 percent. New coal-steam units are expected to account for 25 percent (42 GW) of all new capacity additions through 2010, with approximately three-fourths of the new coal-fired capacity coming online after 2000 (EIA, 1994a). This 42 GW of new coal capacity is equivalent to 140 new power plants in the 300-MW size range.

Natural Gas

In recent years natural gas has become the fuel of choice for new capacity

2  

The fraction of the DRB that is recoverable has recently been estimated for the Central Appalachian coal mining region, which encompasses the states of Kentucky and West Virginia. The study revealed that only 50 percent of the reserve base was potentially recoverable because of various mining, environmental, social, economic, and regulatory factors (Carter and Gardner, 1993). Considering additional restrictions in the form of coal mining factors, recovery factors, and economic factors further reduced the economically recoverable coal resource to between 4.2 and 26.4 percent of the DRB (Rohrbacher et al., 1993).



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