Today, the U.S. coal fleet is made of approximately 400 individual coal-fired electric generating units representing roughly 188,000 megawatts (MW) of electric generating capacity.
In 2022, Coal supplied 20% of electricity generated in the U.S.
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Last year, 41 states relied on coal for electricity. Coal provided at least half the electricity in seven states and at least one-quarter of the electricity in 16 states. Coal was the largest source of electricity in 12 states.
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The U.S. has the largest coal reserves in the world with 251 billion tons of recoverable coal reserves. That’s more than 435 years of coal at current production levels.

Approximately two-thirds of the coal fleet’s generating capacity is located in RTO/ISO regions.

  • Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) … 49,400 MW
  • PJM … 43,900 MW
  • Southwest Power Pool (SPP) … 20,800 MW
  • Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) … 14,400 MW
  • RTO/ISO regions have 64% of all generating capacity in the United States.

During 2022, coal provided at least half the electricity in seven states and at least 20% of the electricity in 20 states. Coal was the largest source of electricity in 12 states and the largest dispatchable source of electricity in three states where an intermittent resource, like wind, was the largest source

The price of coal is expected to remain low and relatively unchanged next year. But coal plant closures expose consumers to higher and volatile natural gas prices.

Grid Reliability Concerns

The following organizations have issued reliability warnings:

China has the world’s largest coal fleet by far.

  • China’s fleet is over 1.1 million MW, more than five times the size of the U.S. coal fleet. 
  • China’s coal fleet represents one-half of the global coal fleet.
  •  They are constructing or developing nearly 400,000 MW of new coal capacity.
  • India has the second-largest coal fleet, with over 235,000 MW.
  • India is constructing or developing 67,500 MW of additional coal capacity.  
  • China accounted for 54% (4.32 billion tonnes) of the world’s total coal consumption (8.33 billion tonnes) in 2022 and is projected to increase consumption by an additional 174 million tonnes by 2024.
  • India, the second-largest consumer of coal, used 1.15 billion tonnes in 2022 and is projected to increase its consumption by 99 million tonnes by 2024.
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More than 60 percent of the U.S. coal fleet that existed in 2010 has retired or announced plans to retire by 2030.
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Coal provided 50% or more of the electricity in 8 states, more than 30% in 17 states.
Between 2022 and 2030, 86,000 MW of coal are announced to retire.
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Over 500 million tons of coal were consumed for electricity production last year.
The U.S. electric sector has reduced carbon emissions by 33 percent since 2005.

* EIA Electric Data Browser
** EIA, U.S. Coal Reserves