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Posts Tagged ‘coal’

Ripe for Retirement: Examining the Competitiveness of U.S. Coal Plants

This is Part One of a 3-Part Blog Series.

Today, the Union of Concerned Scientists released an update of our 2012 ground-breaking analysis, Ripe for Retirement, examining the economic viability of U.S. coal generators compared with modern, cleaner alternatives. Our new findings, published in Electricity Journal, show that nearly 59 gigawatts (GW) of coal power capacity are not cost competitive when compared with natural gas, and more than 71 GW are uneconomic when compared with wind power. These coal generators are prime candidates for retirement and their closure would provide substantial benefits for consumers and the environment. It would also accelerate the transition to a cleaner, more reliable and affordable energy system. Read More

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TVA Pulls the Plug on More Coal Plants; Others Will Surely Follow

Last week, the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) board of directors voted in favor of retiring 3,300 megawatts (MW) of coal power capacity. This action is good news for consumers and the environment in the region. It also continues the drumbeat of retirement announcements nationwide and provides further evidence of the eroding economic viability of the aging U.S. coal fleet. A recent UCS analysis, Ripe for Retirement, documents why many more U.S. coal generators should also be considered for closure. Read More

Categories: Energy, Fossil Fuels  

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Six Reasons to Celebrate the Brayton Point Coal Plant Closing

The Brayton Point coal plant is shutting down, and that’s a really positive development for a whole lot of reasons.

The new owners of the Somerset, MA, plant let it be known this week that they’d be shutting down Brayton Point by 2017. For the many community members and organizations that have worked for this goal for years, it’s a cause for celebration. But it’s also a great thing for the public at large. Read More

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Managing Risk in Ohio: Clean Energy’s Role in a Reliable, Diverse Power Supply

“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is a mantra often used by investors who diversify their portfolios to protect against volatility in financial markets. It’s also appropriate for the electricity sector in Ohio, a state that has historically been overdependent on coal and is fast becoming over reliant on both coal and natural gas, leaving consumers vulnerable to volatility in energy markets and many other risks. Renewable energy and energy efficiency can help diversify Ohio’s power mix, and bring safe, clean, reliable, and affordable power to consumers, according to a new UCS report. Why then is the central policy that is successfully supporting these clean energy industries in Ohio under attack? Read More

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Power Plant Carbon Standards: The EPA Should Use the Clean Air Act’s Flexibility to Help Reduce Emissions

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be reissuing a draft carbon standard for new power plants on or around September 20. These standards, particularly the one for existing power plants which will be issued in draft form in June 2014, could help reduce carbon emissions significantly if EPA uses existing flexibilities in the Clean Air Act to help ensure a transition away from polluting coal plants to clean sources like renewable energy and energy efficiency. Read More

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Surprisingly, West Virginians Support Raising Taxes on the Coal Industry–Even in Coal Country

What a week. President Obama delivered a major speech on climate change on Tuesday, directing the Environmental Protection Agency to carry out its obligations under existing law and limit carbon emissions from both new and existing power plants.

As a scientist studying climate change, I’m excited by the President’s leadership. He articulated the reality of the problem that we face, and why it’s so important that we act today to prepare for climate change that’s already locked in and protect future generations by cutting emissions. Read More

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Labor and Environment: “Joined at the Hip”

Since its launching in 2006, the Blue-Green Alliance (BGA) has united some of the largest and most impactful unions, environmental, and science-based organizations in an effort to accelerate the transition to a clean and prosperous energy economy. As proud members of the BGA, the Union of Concerned Scientists was well represented at their annual Good Jobs, Green Jobs conference in Washington, DC last week. My colleague and UCS Kendall Fellow Jeremy Richardson was an active participant and logged the following report: Read More

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Zombies, Glee, and Coal on Earth Day: New Mashup Report on Coal’s Water Dependence

In the fine tradition of mashups that have produced zombie-enhanced classic novels and cutting-edge high school music efforts, a new UCS mini-report is a stimulating amalgamation of two exciting areas of UCS research, pointing to additional bonuses from closing old coal plants. This Earth Day, you can celebrate water savings, too. Read More

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Happy World Water Day! (Celebrate by Saving Energy!)

If you’re all done with your vernal equinox celebrations and looking for another excuse to party, you’re in luck. It may not show up on your run-of-the-mill cute-puppy-dog calendar, but it turns out that today is World Water Day. If you’re looking for a way to celebrate it, you could do worse than finding some way to save energy. Read More

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Connecting the Dots: What Recent Events Mean For Our Energy-Water Future

Events of the last few days say a lot about our politics, our planet, and our prospects. When it comes to thinking about our energy-water future, three events in particular stand out: NOAA’s news about 2012 temperatures, Georgia Power’s announcement about power plant retirements, and the renewable energy pieces of Washington’s recent fiscal deal. Read More

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