Nebraska utility could slash emissions at little or no added cost, studies show

by Karen Uhlenhuth, March 29, 2021 Nebraska’s largest electric utility could dramatically reduce carbon emissions over the next three decades at little or no cost to ratepayers, according to a pair of recent reports prepared for the utility’s board of directors. The path — and cost — of completely eliminating emissions…

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Xcel Energy plans to transform its Colorado grid, boosting renewables and closing coal plants

Xcel Energy plans to transform its Colorado grid, boosting renewables and closing coal plants

Energize Weekly, March 3, 2021 Xcel Energy – in one of the country’s most sweeping initiatives to reconfigure a gird – has announced an $8 billion plan to double its renewable energy generation and storage in Colorado, add transmission and close all its coal-fired power plants in the state by…

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Collapse of the natural gas system from wellhead to turbine fueled Texas’ blackout

Collapse of the natural gas system from wellhead to turbine fueled Texas’ blackout

Energize Weekly, February 24, 2021 The near collapse of Texas’ electric grid was caused in the main by a failure of the natural gas system from the wellhead to pipeline to gas turbine, according to an analysis by the International Energy Agency (IEA). “Texas has a power shortage because it…

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U.S. energy consumption will take years to rebound from pandemic, EIA says

U.S. energy consumption will take years to rebound from pandemic, EIA says

Energize Weekly, February 10, 2021 It will take years for U.S. energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions to return to 2019 levels after the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s economy and the global energy sector, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). Energy consumption in…

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U.S. wind and solar generation set to soar in 2021, as coal-fired and nuclear plants close

U.S. wind and solar generation set to soar in 2021, as coal-fired and nuclear plants close

Energize Weekly, January 27, 2021 The U.S. electricity generation fleet will continue its transformation in 2021 with wind and solar dominating new installations and nuclear and coal-fired plants steadily being retired, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). Power plant developers and utilities are planning for 39.7 gigawatts (GW)…

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Coal continues its decline in the U.S. and Europe and its rise in Southeast Asia and India

Coal continues its decline in the U.S. and Europe and its rise in Southeast Asia and India

Energize Weekly, December 9, 2020 Coal mining and coal-fired electricity generation in the U.S. and Europe continues to decline, but in Asia, coal-fired demand is projected to increase through 2030 thanks to national policies and Chinese financing. In the U.S., coal mine production capacity fell in 2019 to 590 million…

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Voters weigh in on local and state energy issues from renewable energy to oil and gas taxes

Voters weigh in on local and state energy issues from renewable energy to oil and gas taxes

Energize Weekly, November 11, 2020 Election returns on state and local energy issues were both literally and figuratively all over the map last week on issues ranging from renewable energy to oil and gas taxes. Voters in Alaska rejected a tax on oil operations while the industry was denied a…

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A Biden plan would speed a clean energy transition, but have limited impact on oil

A Biden plan would speed a clean energy transition, but have limited impact on oil

Energize Weekly, October 28, 2020 As Election Day nears, analysts are starting to focus on what the administration of front-running Joe Biden will mean for energy and find it could accelerate the decline of coal, stabilize near-term oil markets, as well as boost renewables and new jobs. A Biden administration,…

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Fossil fuel demand drops in 2020 with a limited rebound in 2021, IEA says

Fossil fuel demand drops in 2020 with a limited rebound in 2021, IEA says

Energize Weekly, October 21, 2020 The global pandemic will cut worldwide energy demand 5 percent in 2020 and result in an 18 percent decline in energy investment, according to International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts. If the novel coronavirus is brought under control in 2021, energy demand will return to its…

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Two FERC decisions pose problems for renewable energy generation

Two FERC decisions pose problems for renewable energy generation

Energize Weekly, September 16, 2020 In a pair of September rulings, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has undercut the development of clean energy projects, according to environmentalists and a dissenting commissioner. A Sept. 1, FERC decision limited the flexibility of small, renewable energy projects to get certification that assures…

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The ongoing pandemic and weak economy led to across-the-board energy production cuts

The ongoing pandemic and weak economy led to across-the-board energy production cuts

Energize Weekly, August 19, 2020 Projections for U.S. energy production in 2020 – from oil to natural gas to coal – continued to fall as the novel coronavirus pandemic and global recession depress economies. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has lowered its estimate for domestic crude oil production by…

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Wind and solar deployment continue apace in 2020, could supply 90 percent of the grid by 2035

Wind and solar deployment continue apace in 2020, could supply 90 percent of the grid by 2035

Energize Weekly, June 17, 2020 Renewable power’s continuing decline in prices is spurring near-term expansion, even in the face of the novel coronavirus pandemic and, according to a new report, could power 90 percent of the U.S. electric grid by 2035 while reducing wholesale electricity prices. The analysis by the…

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Renewable electricity generation set to surpass coal, which continues to decline, in 2020

Renewable electricity generation set to surpass coal, which continues to decline, in 2020

Energize Weekly, May 20, 2020 Renewable electricity generation is set to surpass coal-fired generation in 2020, as coal continues to slide, having hit a 42-year low in 2019, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The EIA is projecting a 25 percent drop in coal-fired generation in 2020 and…

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Tri-State and United Power fighting in court and before state and federal regulators

Tri-State and United Power fighting in court and before state and federal regulators

Energize Weekly, May 13, 2020 A new front was opened last week in the battle between Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association and some of its electric cooperatives, as United Power, its largest member, filed a complaint in a Colorado district court charging subterfuge and breach of contract. Meanwhile on May…

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Coronavirus pandemic rattles energy markets from oil to wind to energy storage

Coronavirus pandemic rattles energy markets from oil to wind to energy storage

Energize Weekly, April 22, 2020 Pandemic and recession are rippling through almost every corner of the energy sector from oil companies to wind, solar and energy storage manufacturers. “Over half the world’s population is now under lockdown, as demand for power drops and the risk of global recession grows,” according…

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Global carbon emissions flat in 2019 as the U.S. leads the way in CO2 cuts

Global carbon emissions flat in 2019 as the U.S. leads the way in CO2 cuts

Energize Weekly, February 19, 2020 Global carbon emissions slowed in 2019 after two years of growth as increases in developing nations were offset by a sharp drop in power sector emissions in developed countries led by the U.S., according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The worldwide emissions of carbon…

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New York Mayor de Blasio seeks to end the use of oil and gas in large buildings

New York Mayor de Blasio seeks to end the use of oil and gas in large buildings

Energize Weekly, February 12, 2020 New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is taking aim at fossil fuels seeking to end the use of natural gas and oil in large buildings and banning the development of oil and gas infrastructure in the city. Other initiatives include switching the municipal feet…

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Renewables poised to overtake coal and nuclear power in 2021, natural gas in 2045

Renewables poised to overtake coal and nuclear power in 2021, natural gas in 2045

Energize Weekly, February 12, 2020 Renewables are set to overtake both coal-fired and nuclear generation by 2021 and natural gas-fired generation by 2045, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Wind and solar are leading the surge in renewable generation, which EIA says will account for 21 percent of…

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Last coal-fired plant in New York to close, New England plants not far behind, EIA says

Last coal-fired plant in New York to close, New England plants not far behind, EIA says

Energize Weekly, February 12, 2020 New York State’s last coal-fired power plant is set to close as early as mid-March and coal-fired power is headed in the same direction in New England, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). “As many of the coal-fired power plants in New England…

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U.S. coal plants pinched between economic pressures and inefficient cycling of the units

U.S. coal plants pinched between economic pressures and inefficient cycling of the units

Energize Weekly, February 5, 2020 U.S. coal-fired power plants – facing economic and operational pressures – are running with more shutdowns and startups, which are less economical and more wearing on equipment, according to a study by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). The study said increases in…

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Aging grid challenged by shift to renewable and natural gas generation, ScottMadden says

Aging grid challenged by shift to renewable and natural gas generation, ScottMadden says

Energize Weekly, January 22, 2020 The aging U.S. electrical grid is facing challenges from just-in-time natural gas plant fueling and a growing demand for renewable generation, which it will not be able to meet without new investment and policies, according to a study by business consultant ScottMadden Inc. “The grid…

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Tri-State, facing economic, political pressures, moves to close its last two coal-fired plants

Tri-State, facing economic, political pressures, moves to close its last two coal-fired plants

Energize Weekly, January 15, 2020 Under pressure from market forces, dissatisfied members and environmental policies, the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association announced it will close the last two coal-fired plants it operates and move to add more renewable energy. Tri-State said that it will close its Escalante Station, in Prewitt,…

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The Hartford to stop insuring and investing in coal and tar sands over climate concerns

The Hartford to stop insuring and investing in coal and tar sands over climate concerns

Energize Weekly, January 8, 2020 The Hartford Financial Services Group said it will no longer insure or invest in companies mining or using coal or developing tar sands oil over concerns about risks linked to climate change. The company, based in Hartford, Conn., said it would not deal with companies…

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Most costly coal-fired plants to run are prime targets for closure, EIA study finds

Most costly coal-fired plants to run are prime targets for closure, EIA study finds

Energize Weekly, December 11, 2019 The U.S. has seen more than a fifth of its coal-fired generating capacity closed since 2011, and plants with higher operating costs were more vulnerable to closures, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). Between 2011 and the end of 2017, the total coal-fired…

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Clean energy investment in the developing world dropped in 2018, led by China downturn

Clean energy investment in the developing world dropped in 2018, led by China downturn

Energize Weekly, December 4, 2019 Clean energy investment in developing countries dropped by more than 20 percent in 2018 to $133 billion, while coal-fired generation surged, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) survey. “Both suggest that despite considerable recent progress, developing countries’ power sector CO2 emissions are rising…

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Energy-related CO2 emissions in U.S. rise in 2018 for the first time in five years

Energy-related CO2 emissions in U.S. rise in 2018 for the first time in five years

Energize Weekly, December 4, 2019 Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from energy-related activities in 2018 rose in the U.S. for the first time in five years, posting a 2.7 percent annual increase to 5.27 billion metric tons, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). Driving the increase were higher emissions…

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International action has been insufficient to curb GHG, drastic action needed, the UN says

International action has been insufficient to curb GHG, drastic action needed, the UN says

Energize Weekly, December 4, 2019 The gap between international efforts to curb greenhouse gases (GHG) and the growing emissions has grown so large that dramatic reductions over the next decade are needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, according to a United Nations (UN) report. Under the 2015…

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Climate and energy policies around the world are falling short in meeting goals, IEA says

Climate and energy policies around the world are falling short in meeting goals, IEA says

Energize Weekly, November 20, 2019 Even if all the commitments made by countries to cut carbon emissions and provide dependable energy were enacted, the world would still fall far short of having clean, reliable energy in 2040, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The IEA placed all those emission and energy…

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Invenergy’s planned Rhode Island natural gas plant lost out to renewables and energy efficiency

Invenergy’s planned Rhode Island natural gas plant lost out to renewables and energy efficiency

Energize Weekly, November 13, 2019 Invenergy’s proposed, large-scale, natural gas-fired power plant in Rhode Island was undone by delays that enabled renewable power and market efficiencies to overtake the project, according to state regulators. In August, the Rhode Island Energy Siting Board voted to deny Invenergy a permit for the…

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Coal mine prospects in the Powder River Basin are on a poor trajectory, Moody’s says

Coal mine prospects in the Powder River Basin are on a poor trajectory, Moody’s says

Energize Weekly, November 6, 2019 A string of coal mining company bankruptcies in the Powder River Basin (PRB), straddling Wyoming and Montana, has changed the basin’s competitive landscape, but not its “poor overall long-term trajectory,” according to an analysis by Moody’s Investor Services. “All of the rated coal companies that…

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PacifiCorp to close 20 of 24 coal plants by 2038 and invest in wind, solar and storage

PacifiCorp to close 20 of 24 coal plants by 2038 and invest in wind, solar and storage

Energize Weekly, October 9, 2019 PacifiCorp unveiled a new resource plan that takes a sharp turn away from coal-fired plants toward renewable generation – closing 20 of its 24 coal units by 2038 and adding 8,300 megawatts (MW) of wind and solar. Portland, Ore.-based PacifiCorp, which serves 1.6 million people…

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EIA forecasts a 50 percent increase in energy demand by 2050 driven by Asian economies

EIA forecasts a 50 percent increase in energy demand by 2050 driven by Asian economies

Energize Weekly, October 2, 2019 World energy consumption is projected to grow by 50 percent by 2050, with most of that demand coming from growing Asian economies, according to the federal Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) International Energy Outlook. “Energy consumption was greater in Asia than in any other region in…

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