The state of Ohio has gone from getting 85% of its electricity from coal-fired generation in 2008 to 59% in 2015, according to materials presented Aug. 23 by Public Utilities of Ohio (PUCO) Director of Rates and Analysis Patrick Donlon.
Donlon was appearing at the PennWell GenForum at Columbus during a panel discussion on the regional impact of increased use of natural gas for power generation.
While nuclear power grew from 11% in 2008 to 14% in 2015, the big jump in Ohio electric generation has occurred in natural gas. Gas accounted for only 2% of Ohio electric generation in 2008 but grew to 23% in 2015.
These are electric generation figures, not capacity. The figures are based on data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). As far as natural gas generating capacity it should begin to approach parity with coal in Ohio in 2020 based on current projections, Donlon said.
The subject of coal unit retirements going on in Ohio and much of the rest of the nation has been much-discussed. As of Aug. 8, 2016, more than 6,400 MW of coal power had already been retired in the state and another 800 MW is “known” pending retirement, according to a chart presented by Donlon.
At the same time, much new natural gas generating capacity is under development, Donlon noted.
Ohio did extensive study of the impact of the EPA Clean Power Plan before federal courts stayed the implementation of the carbon standard, Donlon said. Ohio has now suspended its analysis while the CPP legal challenge is being played out, Donlon said.