Old King Coal doesn’t stand a chance

❝ Despite plummeting wholesale electricity prices in some areas of the US as well as essentially flat electricity demand in recent years, natural gas and renewable capacity is still being built…

❝ In 2016, the Energy Information Agency notes, natural gas-fired electric generation in the US increased by 3.4 percent; non-hydroelectric renewables like wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal increased by 15.7 percent; and conventional hydroelectric power grew by 7.5 percent. Coal electric generation, on the other hand, fell by 8.4 percent in 2016.

RTFA for details. Still, unless you believe the rant of fools like Trump, you shouldn’t be surprised.

10 thoughts on “Old King Coal doesn’t stand a chance

  1. BOHICA says:

    Jan 3, 2017: “New Mexico’s largest electric provider plans to get out of the coal business sooner rather than later and is proposing legislation that could ease the sting of closing a coal-fired power plant that has served customers around the Southwest for decades. http://www.power-eng.com/articles/2018/01/public-service-co-of-new-mexico-seeks-legislation-to-ease-coal-closure-costs.html Public Service Co. of New Mexico wants legislative approval for a mechanism that would address how the utility recovers hundreds of millions of dollars in stranded costs that will result from closing the San Juan Generating Station earlier than planned.
    The utility closed two units at the plant in December as part of an agreement to curb haze-causing pollution in the Four Corners region. It plans to close the remaining units in 2022, citing market conditions as a wave of utilities across the country look to divest their coal resources.
    The New Mexico utility expected to recover as much as $560 million over the course of two decades through traditional financing, but an early closure changes the equation. By financing undepreciated capital through the highest rated bonds possible, utility officials say shareholders could still collect nearly 60 percent of that while saving customers $160 million.
    The method has been used in other states, including in Florida where lawmakers passed a measure in 2015 that cleared the way for a utility to recover costs associated with the premature retirement of a nuclear power plant.”
    See also ” Power Failure : How utilities across the U.S. changed the rules to make big bets with your money” https://www.postandcourier.com/news/power-failure/article_434e8778-c880-11e7-9691-e7b11f5b3381.html

    • Ratepayer says:

      A bill scheduled to come before the New Mexico Senate Conservation Committee on Saturday has some environmental groups and the state’s largest electric utility facing off over financing the retirement of a coal-fired power plant. http://nmpoliticalreport.com/801217/pnm-enviro-groups-hammer-out-funding-for-abandoned-coal-plants/?mc_cid=dad2d05899&mc_eid=4b85ca587f In late 2017, two of San Juan’s four units were shut down to cut regional pollution and comply with the Clean Air Act. Based on the company’s economic forecast, PNM now plans to close the power plant’s final two units in 2022 (since they’re no longer cost effective). According to the bill’s fiscal impact report, the bond financing scheme could apply not just to PNM’s closure of the San Juan Generating Station and the San Juan Coal Company. It could also apply to three other coal-fired power plants: PNM’s Four Corners plant—scheduled to close in 2031—and Southern Public Service Company’s Tolk Generating Station and Harrington Generating Station in Texas.

    • Bilagáana says:

      Hopi and Navajo miners protest the closure of the largest coal plant in the West. https://grist.org/briefly/hopi-and-navajo-coal-miners-protest-the-closure-of-the-largest-coal-plant-in-the-west/
      Two hundred demonstrators gathered at Arizona’s state Capitol on Tuesday to demand that the Navajo Generating Station, which has been operating since the 1970s, remain open. The coal plant provides steady employment for nearby Native American communities and funds public services. But it also leads them to lean heavily on the mining industry and takes a toll on people’s health.

    • Update says:

      “Public Service Company of New Mexico wants to stir a public backlash against the Santa Fe-based environmental group New Energy Economy for its role in defeating a legislative bill this month that could have accelerated the utility’s replacement of coal-fired generation with renewable energy.” (Albuquerque Journal 2/14/18) https://www.abqjournal.com/1133670/pnm-blames-environmental-group-for-death-of-coal-bill.html “NEE led a coalition of 40 grassroots organizations against the bill, which it called a ratepayer “bailout” since PNM customers would have paid back the bonds through a surcharge on customers’ bills, thus rewarding PNM for what NEE said was a “bad business decision” to continue investing in coal in recent years. That helped sway the Senate Conservation Committee, which voted 5-4 on Feb. 3 to table the bill, thus killing it in this session. Despite the NEE-led opposition, nearly a dozen other prominent environmental organizations participated in negotiations with PNM, leading to amendments that committed the utility to procure at least 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.”
      “The ABQ Journal: The only newspaper that resents the town it covers.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/02/09/albuquerque-journal-apologizes-for-cartoon-depicting-dreamers-mugging-white-couple/?utm_term=.9c581bcb2507

    • Wanna Bet says:

      “New legislation would keep the West’s largest coal-fired power plant open. The Navajo Generating Station was on track to shut down next year.” https://fronterasdesk.org/content/640195/new-bill-would-keep-navajo-coal-plant-open “Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar plans to introduce legislation that would exempt the Navajo Generating Station and the coal mine that feeds the plant from federal environmental regulations – both the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Air Act.”

  2. Jimmy Click says:

    Photo (caption): “Robert Murray and Rick Perry embrace during a March 29, 2017, meeting over Murray’s action plan for saving coal companies.” https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_1484w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/12/08/Others/Images/2017-12-08/Meeting_with_BM_4.JPG Energy Department photographer Simon Edelman is seeking whistleblower protection after the department placed him on administrative leave and seized personal belongings he kept at the office after he gave official photos to The Washington Post and In These Times magazine of a March 29 meeting between coal mining executive Robert Murray and Energy Secretary Rick Perry hugging after discussing an “action plan” for overhauling federal energy regulations. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/rick-perry-hugged-a-coal-baron-this-photographer-got-the-picture-then-he-lost-his-job/2018/01/17/ac52a2a8-fbd0-11e7-ad8c-ecbb62019393_story.html?utm_term=.242ad6a09e74
    “How a Coal Baron’s Wish List Became President Trump’s To-Do List” https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/09/climate/coal-murray-trump-memo.html

  3. Molly Maguire says:

    More than half of the coal produced in the U.S. comes from five companies, with the largest company producing one in every five tons. https://platform.mi.spglobal.com/web/client?auth=inherit#news/article?id=43856248&cdid=A-43856248-10542
    Peabody Energy Corp. far outproduced any other coal company in 2017 with 156.7 million tons from U.S. operations, a 20.3% share of the total coal produced in the U.S. Nearly two-thirds of Peabody’s production came from a single mine, the North Antelope Rochelle mine in Wyoming, which is itself responsible for 13.1% of the coal produced in the entire country.

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