* Burning Coal is Burning Cash in NC

The following information is from the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) and the Union of Concerned Scientists.  SACE will be hosting a webinar on Jan. 29, 12p EST with UCS to go over these findings and updated information from their Ripe for Retirement report. You can register here if you are interested: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/512530519

Coal Money Leaving NC

Asheville, N.C. (January 14, 2014)  – The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), in partnership with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), released a report today ranking states that sent the most money out of state to import coal in 2012 (the year with the most recent numbers available). Below are highlights of the information for North Carolina.

  • North Carolina relied on coal for 44 percent of its in-state electricity generation in 2012, but has no in-state coal supplies.
  • North Carolina’s power producers paid nearly $1.8 billion to import 18.7 million tons of coal from six states, mainly from West Virginia and Kentucky.
  • North Carolina ranks second in the nation for net coal import expenditures.*
  • Duke Energy, North Carolina’s largest electricity provider, sent $1.7 billion out of the state to purchase coal in 2012—98 percent of the state’s total.
  • Duke Energy ranks second among all U.S. power providers for coal import dependency in 2012, having spent more than $2.2 billion on out-of-state coal across its holdings in six states.
  • The tonnage of North Carolina’s coal imports dropped by 36 percent between 2008 and 2012, mainly because of the decreasing competitiveness of coal power in the market.
  • North Carolina pays a high cost for coal: the average price paid for coal in North Carolina has increased from $79.85 per ton to $93.74 per ton, which are among the highest prices in the United States.
  • Coal generation in North Carolina declined from 61 percent to 44 percent between 2008 and 2012, causing a 25 percent drop in coal expenditures.
  • North Carolina’s renewable energy and efficiency standard has driven significant investment in solar energy in the past few years — the state now ranks fifth in the country and first in the Southeast for cumulative installed solar capacity, with over 320 MW installed as of mid-2013.
  • Despite the state’s wealth (and growth in investment) of renewable energy resources like sustainable bioenergy, solar, and wind, these resources supplied just 2.1 percent of the state’s power in 2012.
  • Maintaining NC’s REPS standard is a critical part of decreasing North Carolina’s dependence on out-of-state coal expenditures and boosting our in-state economy.

*Note: The national ranking is based on net costs (the money spent on imported coal minus any money that came into each state from the export of coal from in-state mines).

More information is available at:

Download state fact sheets (PDF)North Carolina

Download national findings and rankings (PDF) – Burning Coal, Burning Cash 2014 Update (PowerPoint Slides)


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