United States Coal Energy Use Comparisons
The United States Coal Energy Sector List
|Coal is a readily combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock normally occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure.
Coal is composed primarily of carbon along with variable quantities of other elements, chiefly sulfur, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. Coal begins as layers of plant matter accumulate at the bottom of a body of water. For the process to continue the plant matter must be protected from biodegradation and oxidization, usually by mud or acidic water. The wide shallow seas of the Carboniferous period provided such conditions. This trapped atmospheric carbon in the ground in immense peat bogs that eventually were covered over and deeply buried by sediments under which they metamorphosed into coal. Over time, the chemical and physical properties of the plant remains (believed to mainly have been fern-like species antedating more modern plant and tree species) were changed by geological action to create a solid material.
Coal, a fossil fuel, is the largest source of energy for the generation of electricity worldwide, as well as one of the largest worldwide anthropogenic sources of carbon dioxide emissions. Gross carbon dioxide emissions from coal usage are slightly more than those from petroleum and about double the amount from natural gas. Coal is extracted from the ground by mining, either underground or in open pits.
|U.S. Coal Consumption by End-Use Sector|
|Table 32. U.S. Coal Consumption by End-Use Sector, 2003-2009
(Thousand Short Tons)
|Year and Quarter||Electric Power Sector1||Coke Plants||Other Industrial||Commercial and Institutional||Total|
|January - March||250,860||5,714||6,355||8,834||15,188||525||443||968||272,730|
|April - June||240,394||5,768||6,213||8,186||14,400||419||226||645||261,207|
|July - September||279,623||5,783||6,465||8,161||14,626||463||182||645||300,677|
|October - December||255,759||5,692||6,229||9,029||15,258||479||489||968||277,677|
|January - March||257,516||5,576||5,834||8,743||14,578||547||510||1,058||278,727|
|April - June||246,591||5,736||5,552||8,521||14,074||426||279||705||267,106|
|July - September||283,556||5,678||5,546||8,180||13,725||458||247||705||303,665|
|October - December||257,478||5,726||5,605||8,634||14,238||495||563||1,058||278,500|
|January - March||264,301||5,536||5,682||8,354||14,036||554||557||1,112||284,984|
|April - June||247,156||5,580||5,432||8,391||13,824||465||279||744||267,304|
|July - September||278,998||5,767||5,495||8,044||13,539||491||227||718||299,022|
|October - December||250,125||5,186||5,292||7,702||12,994||510||422||932||269,237|
|January - March||237,565||4,398||5,163||6,921||12,084||531||537||1,068||255,116|
|April - June||216,862||3,402||4,684||5,868||10,552||389||275||664||231,479|
|July - September||245,229||3,450||4,931||6,186||11,116||410||210||620||260,415|
|October - December||236,880||4,076||4,883||6,716||11,600||460||398||858||253,414|
The electric power sector (electric utilities and independent power
producers) comprises electricity-only and combined-heat-and-power (CHP)
plants whose primary business is to sell electricity, or electricity
and heat, to the public -- i.e. NAICS 22 plants. The reported coal
consumption is the total for producing electricity and useful thermal
2 Industrial combined-heat-and-power (CHP) and a small number of industrial electricity-only plants. The reported coal consumption is the total for producing electricity and useful thermal output.
3 All industrial sector fuel use other than in "Coke Plants" and "Industrial CHP."
4 Includes commercial combined-heat-and-power (CHP) and a small number of commercial electricity-only plants, such as those at hospitals and universities. The reported coal consumption is the total for producing electricity and useful thermal output.
5 All commercial sector fuel use other than that in "Commercial CHP" and residential sector.
Note: Total may not equal sum of components because of independent rounding.
Sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) · Electric Power Sector and CHP: 2003-2007 - Form EIA-906, "Power Plant Report," and Form EIA-920, "Combined Heat and Power Plant Report;" 2008-Forward - Form EIA-923, "Power Plant Operations Report" · Coke Plants: All Years and Quarters - Form EIA-5, "Quarterly Coal Consumption and Quality Report - Coke Plants" · Other Industrial: All Years and Quarters - Form EIA-3, "Quarterly Coal Consumption and Quality Report - Manufacturing and Transformation/Processing Coal Plants and Commercial and Institutional Coal Users;" 2003-2007 - Form EIA-6A, "Coal Distribution Report," Form EIA-7A, "Coal Production Report," Form EIA-906, "Power Plant Report," and Form EIA-920, "Combined Heat and Power Plant Report;" 2008-Forward - Form EIA-7A, "Coal Production Report," and Form 923, "Power Plant Operations Report" · Commercial and Institutional: 2003-2007 - Form EIA-6A, "Coal Distribution Report;" 2008-Forward - Form EIA-3, "Quarterly Coal Consumption and Quality Report - Manufacturing and Transformation/Processing Coal Plants and Commercial and Institutional Coal Users."