New data shows Kentucky’s coal production and employment have declined by a minimum in nearly two years.
The state coal mine produced 6.5 million tonnes in the first three months of 2021. According to the Energy Environment Cabinet, 9.6% decrease compared to 2020.
Total employment fell 14.6% to 3,983.
Western Kentucky continued to outpace eastern Kentucky production, with 4.3 million tonnes mined in the west and 2.3 million tonnes in the east.
Union, a county in western Kentucky, produced more coal than the entire eastern coal basin.
Total employment remained higher in the east with 2,366 workers. The western Kentucky mine employed 1,617 workers.
Kentucky ranks fifth in the country for coal productionBehind Illinois, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Ten years ago, the Kentucky mine produced over 27 million tonnes every three months and employed over 18,000 workers.
The demand for coal to generate electricity has declined, mainly because utilities have switched to cheaper natural gas. On the other hand, wind power and solar power are also cheaper.
Coal transport to power plants decreased by 22% in 2020. According to the US Energy Information Administration, Reflects the decline in electricity demand due to the coronavirus.
Natural gas produced 40% of the country’s electricity in 2020. Twice the share produced by coal.. Last year, nuclear and renewables overtook coal across the country.
Electricity grid decarbonization projects could further erode the share of coal.
Kentucky coal production and job decline slowed in first quarter
Source link Kentucky coal production and job decline slowed in first quarter