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North America Coal Markets: 2018 in review and what to look for in 2019

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15 January 2019

North America Coal Markets: 2018 in review and what to look for in 2019

Report summary

The US coal market in 2018 experienced a year when fundamentals of supply, domestic demand, and exports finally came into balance. However, the global energy transition continues to move away from fossil fuels to renewables. Solar power, wind power and battery storage have emerged around the country across many types of geographies and could disrupt the current state of power markets. The cost of new wind and solar generation beats the cost of fossil fuel generation, even without subsidies in some cases. Solar photovoltaic costs have fallen 80% since 2010 while onshore wind saw costs drop 30% over the same period. Similarly, battery costs saw unprecedented drops of 80% since 2010. The most aggressive battery penetration scenarios from three or four years ago did not predict this level of drop to happen until 2035.

Table of contents

  • Prices: low liquidity in the spot market
  • Demand: stockpiles finally balance after years of an enormous overhang
  • Supply: boost in exports helped to buffer another domestic demand loss
  • Federal government moves forward with initiatives to develop advanced coal technology and roll back regulations
  • US coal fleet survival depends on winter weather and natural gas prices
  • 2019 looks more bearish for US exports

Tables and charts

This report includes 3 images and tables including:

  • US monthly coal-fired generation (TWh)
  • US quarterly coal production (Mst)
  • Natural gas prices (US$/mmbtu)

What's included

This report contains:

  • Document

    North America Coal Markets: 2018 in review and what to look for in 2019

    PDF 828.90 KB

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