Coal Power in Pennsylvania Considered Too Expensive for Creating Electricity

by jsgs45 on November 10, 2010

Pennsylvania Coal Power

Coal Electricity Generation

For many coal power is considered to be one of the cheapest ways to create electricity. In Texas for instance many of the natural gas and coal generation facilities in this state are the reasons why commercial and residential electricity prices are so low.

Coal and natural gas however do not always result in low electricity rates.

Pennsylvania Electricity – Compare

Of course hydro and nuclear allow for prices to come down even further but in many states in the US coal power generation offers one of the cheapest way to generate electricity for a state.

The great thing about coal is the cost of this raw material is so low many times and we have plenty of it in the US. The negative aspects of coal power generation have to do with the dirty after effects in the environment and the likelihood for price spikes during high demand periods.

In Pennsylvania an argument is being raised that some of the old coal fired power plants are becoming so old as to actually cause coal power to be one of the most expensive methods of producing electricity. This has mainly to do with the never ending maintenance needed to keep these broken down power plants running. There is also the current issue of coal and oil prices reaching close to historical highs again.

Coal power still remains to be one of the cheapest ways to generate electricity in places like Texas, New Jersey and Pennsylvania but unless newer power plants are built that can create cleaner electricity using dirty fuel sources like coal while allowing for low maintenance costs coal power will continue to rise in cost.

Another issue is that coal is more expensive right now although this spike in price is usually short lived and will likely come back down. Coals cousin, natural gas however is cheap right now which means that natural gas power generation facilities offer cheaper electricity at this time.

Lets remove the high cost of coal right now as an argument for doing away with coal power. It may be time to turn of coal generation facilities while the commodity remains high and make use of just natural gas but this will only be needed short term.

Coal will come back down in price and will once again be one of the cheapest ways of producing electricity in places like Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Texas.

At this time it does make since to retire about 4 coal power generation facilities in the state of PA’s Pennsylvania, Jersey, Maryland, Power Pool electric grid simply because there are cheaper alternatives.

Pennsylvania Jersey and Maryland Electric Grid

Electricity Grid in Pennsylvania, Jersey and Maryland

The Pennsylvania, Jersey, Maryland, Power Pool (PJM Electric Grid) will have to upgrade their transmission grid prior to retiring these coal power plants otherwise Philadelphia PA will be without sufficient electric power to meet the demand.

If you are experiencing higher than normal electricity costs this winter in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey deregulated electric utility markets this winter it may have to do with raw materials like coal and oil being close to historical high levels.

Not to worry as what goes up must eventually come back down. If you would like to compare electricity rates in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Maryland please use our comparison chart at the top right.

Just enter your zip code and choose either commercial or residential. You can compare rates and order electric service online using our tool. If you would prefer speaking to an energy consultant for the PA, Maryland or New Jersey deregulated electric utility areas over the phone please call us at 1-800-971-4020.

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