Nearly two-thirds of the United States’ power plants operate in competitive wholesale markets. Market rules typically prescribe that only the cheapest set of resources may run—nowadays, those are often renewable energy resources. Despite a growing trend of coal losing on cost to renewables and natural gas, coal generation remains a dominant player in many of these markets. Read more >
June 3, 2019 9:26 AM EDT
April 24, 2019 3:05 PM EDT
Over the past year, I have looked at the hourly operations of over one-third of the coal fleet in the US and have come to a startling conclusion: Each and every one of the coal units I have investigated have been uneconomic for at least one month. That is, the costs to operate them in a given month exceeded the revenues they earned in the energy market that same month.
Financially, most (if not all) of these coal plants would have been better off turning off.
March 28, 2019 12:58 PM EDT
Over the years, I’ve written and spoken extensively about the urgency of providing a fair and equitable transition for coal-impacted communities as we collectively move towards a clean energy economy. This includes not just the workers at the coal-fired power plants, but also the mine workers that feed those plants, as well as the communities surrounding those plants and mines that depend on the coal industry for their economic livelihoods. Given the scale of the climate crisis, it is imperative to drive down greenhouse gas emissions and transition to clean energy as quickly as possible. But the cost of this transition should not be borne solely by coal communities and workers, not does it have to be. By coupling clean energy commitments with the careful and targeted use of a powerful and somewhat lesser known financial tool called securitization, states can do both: accelerate the transition to clean energy and ensure that impacted coal workers and coal communities don’t get left behind.
March 21, 2019 9:42 AM EDT
Yesterday the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency submitted a proposal to set stricter air pollution limits in the ongoing state rulemaking over Dynegy-Vistra’s fleet of coal-fired power plants in Illinois.
The proposal is a good thing for lowering harmful air pollution. Dynegy-Vistra has also discussed the possibility of retiring some of its remaining coal-fired units in the near future.