U.S. coal demand falls to lowest level since ’84

(Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg)

The U.S. power sector consumed 677 million short tons of coal last year, the lowest level since 1984, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Friday.

That was a 35 percent decline from 2008, when coal demand in the power sector hit its peak.

The fall comes not only as natural gas, wind turbines and solar panels take on increasing shares of the U.S. power market but overall demand has leveled off amidst increasingly efficient homes and buildings and middling economic growth nationally.

Coal prices fell to an average of less than $42 per ton last year, a 6 percent drop from 2015 and the second year in a row of decline.

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