June 14, 2021
Based on 2019 EIA data, coal fired electricity emits 1 Million Tonnes (MMt) of CO2 per TWh versus natural gas at 0.4 MMt of CO2 per TWh.
In 2005, Coal-fired generation of 330 GW of capacity operated at 73% load factor; by 2030, 125 GW of capacity will operate at just 50% load factor.
From 2005-2030, coal fired generation will drop 1,575 TWh resulting in a 75% reduction in coal fired carbon emissions.
From 2005-2030, natural gas fired generation will increase 1,355 TWh, replacing much of the lost coal fired declines. Natural gas emissions will grow 70%, however, overall emissions will drop 42%.
Canada is forecast to be 30% below 2005 levels by 2030 while the US is targeting 52% below 2005 levels by 2030 and a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035. Carbon capture will be an important requirement to meet these targets. Replacing coal with natural gas would achieve the 52% target for power sector.