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Electricity is the most important and convenient way to consume energy. Without it, we’d literally be living in the “Dark Ages.” However, we often forget that it takes energy to make energy.

With the electricity generation mix changing dramatically in recent years, this is no simple task.  There is no more disputing it: the combination of too few power plants being built and too many serviceable power plants being shuttered prematurely threatens the viability of America’s power supply.  How well — or poorly — power systems address the problem will be critical to ensuring a reliable, affordable and secure supply of energy in the years ahead.

The article goes on to state the following:

A decade ago, about 50 percent of the electricity consumed in the United States came from coal-fired generation plants. Today, natural gas is the leader, providing more than 50 percent, while coal’s share has dropped to less than 30 percent. In fact, coal capacity in the United States has fallen by more than a third since 2010, and another 25 percent of today’s fleet is set to close by 2025.

Unlike natural gas, coal and nuclear power are not dependent on just-in-time fuel delivery. Coal plants, in particular, have proven their value in ramping up electricity production in periods of extreme cold when other power sources cannot.

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