Despite Drop in Coal Use, Georgia Remains Dependent on Coal Imports, Draining Millions from Local Economy
Consumers Better Served by Greater Investments in Homegrown Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
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 Georgia and attached is UCS’ national press release.
The Georgia fact sheet can also be found online at: www.ucsusa.org/bcbc2014update. If you’d like to speak about these findings, please contact Jennifer Rennicks with SACE at 865-235-1448 or Lisa Nurnberger with UCS at 202-331-6959.
- Georgia ranks third among all states for money spent on net coal imports. The state’s power producers paid nearly $1.7 billion to import 23.4 million tons of coal in 2012.
- The coal imports came from six states, mainly Kentucky and Wyoming.
- Georgia fell on the list. In 2008, it ranked first.
- Expenditures on coal imports dropped by 36 percent between 2008 and 2012, mainly because of the decreasing competitiveness of coal power in the market. The same economic forces led to recent decisions by Georgia Power to retire more than 2,600 megawatts of old and inefficient coal generators in the state.
- Georgia relied on coal for 33 percent of its in-state electricity generation in 2012, despite having no in-state supply. That’s compared to 63 percent in 2008.
- Georgia Power, the state’s largest power provider, sent $1.1 billion out of Georgia to purchase coal in 2012 — nearly 70 percent of the state’s total expenditures.
- Georgia Power’s parent company, Southern Company, ranks first 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 major subsidiaries in four southeast states.
- While renewable energy supplies only 2.3% of Georgia’s power, Georgia Power’s recent Advanced Solar Initiative to add 735 MW of its energy from solar power is a step in the right direction.
*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).
Article appears with permission from Southeast Green.