electricity markets


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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Xcel Energy's Sherco Generating Station Coal Power Plant Photo: Tony Webster/Wikimedia Commons

The Billion-Dollar Coal Bailout Nobody Is Talking About: Self-Committing In Power Markets

, Senior Energy Analyst

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 >

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Photo: Mike Poresky/CC BY (Flickr)

The Coal Bailout Nobody is Talking About

, Senior Energy Analyst

My latest research has uncovered that every month, millions of consumers are unwittingly bailing out coal-fired power plants to the tune of over a billion dollars a year. Read more >

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Cheap Renewable Energy is Here. Why Doesn’t The Grid Plan For It?

, Senior energy analyst

Wind farms and solar arrays are setting new records for low energy prices, with wind under 2 ½ cents and solar under 4 cents when conditions are right. These are cheap prices, given electricity from new natural gas plants is in the 5-7 cents range, coal at 6-10 cents, and nuclear somewhere between 13 and 15 cents, according to one fleet owner (nuclear can be unpredictable). So why aren’t more electric grid operators incorporating this energy as they plan to meet grid needs? Read more >

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UCS Files in Support of FERC’s Groundbreaking Transmission Rule

, former dir. of energy policy & regulation, Climate & Energy

On June 25, UCS joined the Conservation Law Foundation, Environmental Defense Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council in filing a motion for leave to intervene in a court challenge by several utilities to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) groundbreaking Order No. 1000, Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation by Transmission Owning and Operating Public Utilities. Read more >

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