Gas, a ‘bridge fuel,’ dominates U.S. power at any price
Surging natural gas prices normally result in booming coal generation. But 2022 isn’t normal.
Power companies are shrugging off the highest gas prices in over a decade as they ramp up electricity generation at U.S. gas plants, which are producing 7 percent more power through September compared to last year. Coal generation, by contrast, is down 8 percent.
The unusual dynamic reflects the energy transition in America. Gas has long been referred to as the bridge fuel that would connect a period of declining coal usage to a future ruled by renewables. The U.S. is now stuck in the middle of that bridge, unable to tap the full promise of clean energy, nor turn back to coal after a decade of power plant retirements.