Gains in Electricity Generation to Bolster Coal Production Through 2020


Cleveland, January 18, 2017 — US coal production is forecast to total 892 million tons in 2020, representing marginal annual declines from 2015 levels. Coal stood as the leading fuel source for US electricity generation in 2015, accounting for 33% of the electricity produced. However, by 2020, natural gas will surpass coal for this purpose due to its accessibility and lower costs associated with environmental regulatory compliance.

Nevertheless, gains in overall energy consumption and electricity generation will lead to slower declines in coal production than those experienced between 2005 and 2015. Expanding export opportunities, particularly in the developing economies of Asia, are projected to bolster US coal production and stave off further losses. Furthermore, coal production may see growth if the Clean Power Plan is repealed by the incoming presidential administration.

These and other key insights are featured in Coal: United States, a report recently released by Freedonia Focus Reports, a division of The Freedonia Group. The report forecasts US coal production and demand in short tons to 2020. Total production is segmented by type in terms of:

  • bituminous
  • sub-bituminous
  • lignite and anthracite.

Total demand is segmented by market as follows:

  • electric power
  • commercial, industrial, and other markets.

To illustrate historical trends, total production, total demand, and the various segments are provided in annual series from 2005 to 2015.

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About Freedonia Focus Reports

Each month, The Freedonia Group – a division of – publishes over 20 new or updated Freedonia Focus Reports, providing fresh, unbiased analysis on a wide variety of markets and industries. Published in 20-30 pages, Focus Report coverage ranges from raw materials to finished manufactured goods and related services such as freight and construction. Analysis is intended to guide the busy reader through pertinent topics in rapid succession, including:

  • total historical market size and industry output
  • segmentation by products and markets
  • identification of market drivers, constraints, and key indicators
  • segment-by-segment outlook in five-year forecasts
  • a survey of the supply base
  • suggested resources for further study.

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