Coal prices and outlook U.S. Energy Information
The higher cost of coal from underground mines reflects the more difficult mining conditions and the need for more miners. When coal is burned, it releases impurities that can combine with oxygen to form sulfur dioxide (SO2). When SO2 combines with moisture in the atmosphere, it produces acid rain that can harm forests and lakes.
Coal Transportation Costs Can Be SignificantOnce coal is mined, it must be transported to consumers. Transportation costs add to the delivered price of coal. In some cases, such as in longdiMost Coal Is Purchased For Power PlantsAbout 93% of the coal consumed in the United States is used to generate electricity. In 2015, about 33% of total U.S. electricity generation was frThe Price of Coal Can Depend on The Type of TransactionMost of the coal sold for electric power generation is sold through longterm contracts. Supplies are supplemented with spot purchases of coal. SpoA More Expensive Coal Is Used to Make Iron and SteelIn addition to producing electricity, coal is also used to produce coal coke, or coke, which is used in smelting iron ore to make steel.Coke is madThe Outlook For Coal Prices in The United StatesIn the Annual Energy Outlook 2017 (AEO), the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that coal prices will generally increase through