Indiana saw the third largest decrease in coal use, nationally, since 2007, according to a report from the federal Energy Information Administration.
The EIA credits the reduction in coal use to the affordability of cleaner alternatives.
Indiana used 37 percent less coal for electricity generation between 2007 and 2015. Only Ohio and Pennsylvania saw a larger decrease.
Beyond Coal campaign representative for the Sierra Club Jodi Perras says she interprets the EIA report to mean Indiana’s coal industry is on its way out.
“What we’re seeing is that the market is changing, the world is changing, that coal is being phased out, and that Indiana really needs to plan for that,” Perras says.
Since 2010, about half of Indiana’s coal-fired power plants have been retired or announced for retirement.
The EIA report found that coal generation was replaced primarily by cheap natural gas and increased wind and solar generation.
A separate report released last week by the EIA showed that carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation were the lowest since 1993.
The report credits that reduction with increased use of natural gas and renewables as well.