coal


How Does Uneconomic Coal Generation Impact the Grid? A Discussion with Regulators

, Senior Energy Analyst

On November 19th I had the privilege to sit on a panel of industry luminaries discussing an issue I’ve been researching for some time: Coal-fired power plants that operate uneconomically in wholesale markets.

Wholesale power markets all have rules in place that are designed to prevent power plants from running uneconomically. However, some power plant operators use those same market rules to bypass the market decision-making process through a process known as “self-committing.” Self-committing coal-fired power plants allow those plants to operate out of “merit-order” (from least cost to highest cost) and can result in serious market distortion and inflated consumer costs. Read more >

Photo: PDTillman/Wikimedia Commons
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Heads and tails of 1983 U.S. quarter dollar

For Some, Coal Contracts are, “Heads I Win, Tails You Lose.”

, Senior Energy Analyst

There is a pervasive myth in the electric sector that the owners of coal-fired power plants all sign long term contracts for coal. Once upon a time, that may have been true; but that simply isn’t the case today.

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By AKS.9955 – Own work,
UCS
UCS
UCS
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The Climate Strike Inspires. So Do These 5 Signs of Clean Energy Progress

, Senior energy analyst

Climate change is serious. So are the tools we have for addressing it. Here are 5 images of clean energy progress to keep in mind. Read more >

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Photo: Rennett Stowe/Flickr

Three Possible Solutions to Uneconomic Coal Generation

, Senior Energy Analyst

 This year, utility regulators in Missouri and Minnesota are looking into a practice known as self-committing, which research from UCS shows is costing customers a billion dollars a year in unnecessary costs. Now that this uneconomic and inefficient practice has caught the attention of a few regulators it is time to dive deep into just a few options utility regulators and state policy makers could avail themselves of as potential solutions to uneconomic coal generation.

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Photo: Rennett Stowe/Flickr
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What’s a Coal State to Do?

, senior energy analyst

As we collectively work to minimize the impacts of climate change, which we are already seeing today, we will transition to a clean energy economy—and we must ensure fairness to the workers in fossil fuel industries and the communities that depend on them. This is especially true for coal, which has helped keep the lights on for generations. Read more >

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