By - Jim Vess

Falling renewable energy prices could make $112 billion in gas-fired generation a stranded asset, RMI study says

Energize Weekly, May 30, 2018 Coal-fired generation is being supplanted, for the most part, by cheaper natural gas turbines with $112 billion in new gas-fired power plants proposed or under construction, but those plants could face the same market fate as coal, according to an analysis by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). The analysis by RMI, an independent energy consultant,

By - Jim Vess

Xcel Energy plan to capture stranded assets from coal-fired plant challenged at PUC

Energize Weekly, May 23, 2018 An Xcel Energy proposal to close two Colorado coal-fired power plants as part of a plan to move to 55 percent renewable power by 2026 has drawn wide support, but how the closure is to be paid for has become a bone of contention. The price tag for shutting the 660 megawatts (MW) at the

By - Jim Vess

Natural gas-fired set to dominate 2018 electricity generation additions, EIA says

Energize Weekly, May 16, 2018 Almost 32 gigawatts (GW) of new electric-generating capacity is set to come online in 2018—the most in a decade, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). Natural gas-fired generation will account for two-thirds of the new capacity, a sharp difference from 2017 when renewable energy generation was 55 percent of that year’s 21 GW

By - Jim Vess

Nuclear needs financial support to survive, and some states are already heeding the call

Energize Weekly, May 16, 2018 Nuclear power plants under pressure from market forces are facing closures, but states with high concentrations of nuclear power are stepping in to bolster these generators, and there may be additional policy initiatives that can be taken, according to new studies. “Nuclear power is responsible for around 20 percent of U.S. electricity generation and more

By - Jim Vess

PJM says proposed closing of FirstEnergy nuclear plants will not impact grid reliability

Energize Weekly, May 9, 2018 PJM Interconnection, the operator of the grid and wholesale electric market covering portions of the mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions, said that the proposed closing of three nuclear power plants in its system will not threaten grid stability. FirstEnergy said it will close two financially struggling nuclear plants in Ohio and one in Pennsylvania—a total of

By - Jim Vess

Nuclear and coal-fired power plant closures offer an expanded market for natural gas

Energize Weekly, May 2, 2018 A string of announced closings for nuclear and coal-fired power plants is part of a trend that is offering a big market for natural gas, according to an analysis by energy consultant BTU Analytics. In March, FirstEnergy announced that it would close three nuclear power plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania, with about 4,000 megawatts (MW)

By - Jim Vess

More than half of public power coal-fired plants remain competitive, Moody’s analysis says

Energize Weekly, May 2, 2018 A little more than half of the coal-fired power plants operated by public power utilities and generation and transmission cooperatives are economically competitive, though several are at risk, according to Moody’s Investor Service analysis. “Coal-fired generation in the U.S. remains under pressure due to coal’s lack of competitiveness against natural gas and even renewable energy

By - Jim Vess

Wind and solar plus storage are challenging fossil fuels worldwide, Bloomberg says

Energize Weekly, April 11, 2018 Coal and natural gas are being hard pressed to compete as the comparative cost of wind, solar and battery storage continue to fall and in concert, can meet the power grid’s key needs, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) study. “Fossil fuel power is facing an unprecedented challenge in all three roles it

By - Jim Vess

Natural gas and coal-fired electric generation fell in 2017 while renewable generation increased

Energize Weekly, March 28, 2018 Natural gas-fired electric generation fell a record 7.7 percent in 2017 compared with the previous year, and coal-fired electricity was down 2.5 percent, marking the first time in a decade both electricity sources declined—at the same time renewable electricity hit a record, according to the federal Energy Information Association (EIA). Total U.S. net electricity generation

By - Jim Vess

Renewable generation challenges nuclear as electricity got cleaner in 2017

Energize Weekly, February 21, 2018 The restructuring of the U.S. electricity generation portfolio continued in 2017 with renewable sources coming close to nuclear, while reductions in natural gas and coal made the total kilowatt-hours consumed by Americans cleaner, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Renewable generation was up 14 percent to 717 terawatt-hours (TWhs) in 2017 compared to 2016. Renewables

By - Jim Vess

Coal and nuclear electricity generation off to a rocky start in 2018

Energize Weekly, February 14, 2018 The prospects for coal-fired and nuclear electricity generation got off to a shaky start in 2018 with a projected record number of coal unit closures and three nuclear power plants set for shutdown. The Trump administration has been trying to find ways to bolster the two sectors. It proposed giving subsidies to plants in wholesale

By - Michael Drost

Report: Cyber attack on power grid could cost $1 trillion

Energize Weekly, July 22, 2015 The damage from a hack on the U.S. power grid could cost the nation’s economy more than $1 trillion, according to a new report by insurance market Lloyd’s and the University of Cambridge. The report, titled “Business Blackout”, envisions a “plausible but extreme” scenario where part of the U.S. electrical grid between New York and

By - Michael Drost

Natural gas finally surpasses coal as biggest U.S. electricity source

Energize Weekly, July 15, 2015 Natural gas has overtaken coal as the top source of electric power generation for the first time in the U.S., according to SNL Energy, which looked at data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). According to SNL, the EIA’s June 25 Electric Power Monthly report showed 92,516 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity was produced

By - Michael Drost

Report: Ratemaking subsidies could imperil grid reliability

Energize Weekly, July 15, 2015 A new study released by the Electric Markets Research Foundation says that the concept of affordable and reliable electricity for all might be imperiled due to subsidized ratemaking policies like net-metering, and that failure to mitigate the unintended consequences of integrating distributed generation resources like microgrids and rooftop solar could create a two-tiered electricity system.

By - Michael Drost

Dynegy to exit California, eyes Ohio for future growth

Energize Weekly, July 15, 2015 Power plant behemoth Dynegy Inc says that it will likely exit renewable-heavy California in favor of greener pastures, or in its case the American Midwest, where it has spent $2.8 billion on coal and gas-fired plants just this year. “I will minimize any investment possible in the state of California because the business environment there

By - Michael Drost

Supreme Court blocks EPA MATS regulations on coal, oil-fired power plants

Energize Weekly, July 1, 2015 A narrowly divided U.S. Supreme Court blocked a landmark air quality rule this week, ruling that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did not properly considering the costs of the regulation before proposing it. In a 5-4 decision, the justices ruled that the EPA improperly crafted its ambitious Mercury and Air Toxic Standards (MATS) rule,

By - Michael Drost

DOE report: U.S. energy grid needs major updates

Energize Weekly, May 6, 2015 The nation’s energy grid is old, too old, and will need some major policy and investment updates if we expect to have a secure energy future in the face of threats like cybersecurity and climate change, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Last month, the DOE released the first

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