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The Coal Bailout Everybody Is Talking About

, Senior Energy Analyst

Our new UCS report, Used but How Useful, How Electric Utilities Exploit Loopholes, Forcing Customers to Bail Out Uneconomic Coal-Fired Power Plants, found that utilities across 15 states in the heart of the U.S. exploited power market loopholes, costing customers $350 million in 2018. Read more >

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Three Ways Advocacy Has Enabled Market Forces to Clean up the Power Grid

, Senior Energy Analyst

Market forces are powerful—but advocacy by independent groups has played a critical role in making sure economics and market forces can do their job. Read more >

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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
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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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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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