By - Jim Vess

Nearly all U.S. coal-fired power plants will be more expensive than wind and solar by 2025

Energize Weekly, August 5, 2020 The economic pressure on coal-fired power plants in the U.S. continues to grow with virtually the entire fleet out of the money compared to wind and solar generation by 2025, according to an analysis by Energy Innovation, a clean energy think tank. The study, done in conjunction with Vibrant Clean Energy, found that by 2018,

By - Jim Vess

U.S. coal production drops to a 57-year low, renewables overtake coal-fired generation

Energize Weekly, July 15, 2020 U.S. coal production is projected to plummet to its lowest level in more than half a century in 2020 as coal-fired electricity generation slips behind renewable generation, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). In its July short-term energy outlook, the EIA cut its previous 2020 coal production estimate by 5.4 percent to 501.3

By - Jim Vess

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 University of California, Berkeley and GridLab, a non-profit promoting clean

By - Jim Vess

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 an 11 percent increase in renewable generation, leading to renewables

By - Jim Vess

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 18, hearings will open at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission

By - Jim Vess

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 energy consultant Wood Mackenzie. “A ‘return to normal’ will be

By - Jim Vess

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 dioxide in 2019 were 33 gigatons, a 1.3 percent drop

By - Jim Vess

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 to electric vehicles and increasing rooftop solar in the city.

By - Jim Vess

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 the total electricity in 2021, while nuclear makes up 19

By - Jim Vess

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 and New York have either retired or switched fuels, the

By - Jim Vess

New York State pension plan looks at divesting from coal mining companies in its portfolio

Energize Weekly, February 5, 2020 The New York State Common Retirement Fund – the third largest public pension plan in the country – said it may divest from any of the 27 thermal coal companies in its portfolio which it deems are not taking steps to “transition to a sustainable business model.” “Investors who fail to face the risks and

By - Jim Vess

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 “cycling” of coal plants as well as faster changes in

By - Jim Vess

Natural gas-fired generation to cool in 2020 as the pace for renewables picks up, EIA says

Energize Weekly, January 22, 2020 After robust growth in the last few years, natural gas-fired electricity generation and new natural gas-fired capacity growth will be modest in 2020, according to an Energy Information Administration (EIA) analysis. The EIA projects generation from natural gas-fired plants will grow by 1.3 percent in 2020, the slowest rate since 2017. At the same time,

By - Jim Vess

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 is undergoing a shift in its generation mix,” the report,

By - Jim Vess

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, N.M., by the end of 2020, and two units at

By - Jim Vess

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 that get 25 percent of their revenue from mining thermal

By - Jim Vess

IEA forecasts stable global coal demand despite sharp drops in the U.S. and Europe

Energize Weekly, January 8, 2020 Global coal demand in 2019 dropped, driven by coal-fired plant retirements in Europe and the U.S., but should be stable over the next five years due to growth in China and Asia, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The outlook for coal in the U.S. over the next five years is of continued reductions

By - Jim Vess

FERC rejects AEP, FirstEnergy plan to subsidize Ohio power plants

Energize Weekly, May 4, 2016 Federal regulators have rejected power purchase agreements that would force Ohio customers to pay extra charges on their utility bills to guarantee profits at failing AEP and FirstEnergy power plants. Last week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rescinded waivers it had granted to the two companies that would allow them to purchase power from

By - Jim Vess

EPA makes final CPP preparations ahead of appeals court decision

Energize Weekly, May 4, 2016 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making its final moves to put aspects of its ambitious Clean Power Plan (CPP) into place before a federal court decides the rule’s fate later this year. The CPP, which aims to reduce carbon emissions from the U.S. power sector nationwide 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030,

By - Jim Vess

EIA: Natural gas plants beating out coal plants in utilization for first time ever

Energize Weekly, April 6, 2016 The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says that the capacity factor for gas-fired power plants, or the percentage of total potential electricity output that is actually generated, exceeded that of coal-fired plants for the first time ever last year, the latest in a long list of signs that natural gas has exceeded coal as the

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