U.S. Coal Production, Consumption, Exports & Imports in 2023: Consumption Plunges to Lowest Since 1963

by Wolf Richter
Wolf Street

Use of coal in power generation fades. Cheap US natural gas has been hard to beat for 15 years.

Coal consumption in the US plunged another 17.4% in 2023 from the prior year, to 426 million short tons, the lowest since 1963 (red line in the chart), according to data from the Energy Department’s EIA today. Coal consumption by tonnage peaked in 2007. But by energy content, coal consumption peaked in 2005 at 22.79 quadrillion Btu.

Of the total, 388 MMst were consumed by coal-fired power plants for electricity generation, down by 18.1% from the prior year, and the lowest since 1972 (blue).

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