Coal fell to just 27.6% of US utility-scale power generation in December, and the spread between it and natural gas-fired generation widened to 616 basis points, the largest yet seen, according to Energy Information Administration data out Friday. The agency’s Electric Power Monthly showed coal generation in December totaled 89.6 TWh, up 2% from November but down 28.1% from the year-ago month. December natural gas generation totaled 109.6 TWh, or 33.8% of power generation. The monthly total was up 6.9% from the prior month and up 20.4% from the year-ago month. Low-priced natural gas continues to upend the power market, as more utilities are taking advantage of the cheap fuel and switching away from coal for electricity generation. While there is limited capacity for coal-to-gas switching, the trend is likely to continue until natural gas prices climb above $2.50/MMBtu, which is the generally acknowledged level at which Powder River […]