America is shoveling coal to the sidelines. (Baby steps - need to parlay this to #renewable #energy US coal use falling fast; utilities switch to gas.
The share of U.S. electricity that comes from coal is forecast to fall below 40 percent for the year -- the lowest level since the government began collecting this data in 1949. Four years ago, it was 50 percent. By the end of this decade, it is likely to be near 30 percent.
"The peak has passed," says Jone-Lin Wang, head of Global Power for the energy research firm IHS CERA.
Utilities are aggressively ditching coal in favor of natural gas, which has become cheaper as supplies grow. Natural gas has other advantages over coal: It produces far fewer emissions of toxic chemicals and gases that contribute to climate change, key attributes as tougher environmental rules go into effect.