Gas generation to replace most thermal coal capacity Capacity factors at remaining coal plants unlikely to increase Demand for US thermal coal will “erode significantly” between 2020 and 2030 as total use for US power generation could fall to as little as 11% based on scheduled and likely retirements, Moody’s Investors Service wrote in a report released Wednesday.  Mines in the Powder River Basin are expected to be the hardest hit as thermal coal generation declines. The operations are run by companies that have all gone through or are undergoing bankruptcy restructuring, such as Blackjewel, Cloud Peak Energy, Westmoreland Coal, Arch Coal and Peabody Energy. Natural gas generation will replace most of the thermal coal generating capacity set for retirement as the US coal industry contracts and becomes ever more reliant on export markets, according to […]