For many years, coal has long been the cheapest way to produce electricity. That is why it holds the market share in the U.S. for how utility companies power the grid. However, growing global power demands are tasking the need for coal, making its price rise for the first time in years. A recent report in the Denver Post shed light on the issue because coal-burning plants produce 60 percent of Colorado’s electricity. Over the last year, the price for a one-month contract for one of Colorado’s main coal suppliers has risen 67 percent to more than $13 a ton. For many years, the price hovered around $5 a ton. Colorado has put a 30 percent renewable energy mandate in place for the year 2020, forcing utility companies to switch to wind or solar. And three coal plants will be replaced by cheaper, cleaner natural gas-burning turbines in the near future. But, a government spokesperson says coal will remain a large part of the Colorado energy picture. “While coal will remain an important part of the energy picture in Colorado for years in to the future, new energy sources are increasingly attractive from cost and environmental perspectives,” said Todd Hartman, from the Governor’s Energy Office.