Coal-fired electricity now crashing faster under Trump


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❝ More coal plants are now projected to retire more quickly than experts thought a year ago, according to energy-industry analysts who gathered in Chicago…

Three alternative energy sources — wind, solar and natural gas — are expected to divide up the spoils, they said at the American Wind Energy Association’s Windpower 2018 conference…

❝ The projection changed in part because of more announced retirements, Bruce Hamilton said, “but more importantly, the fundamentals of the economics of coal have gotten worse, with costs going up, while the competition for coal—that is, gas, wind and solar—has all gotten cheaper. So it’s getting to the point where huge swings are forecast. You can see it will be throughout the decade.”

NatGas is replacing dewatted coal powerplants faster than any source, so far. That’s also a good symptom for renewables. NatGas plants can swing online faster than any coal or nuclear plant could. That aids fill-in for downtime from renewables like solar and wind power.

4 thoughts on “Coal-fired electricity now crashing faster under Trump

  1. Hope says:

    “Bloomberg New Energy Finance released a new report this week that estimates how electricity generation will change out to 2050. The clean energy analysis firm estimates that in a mere 33 years, the world will generate almost 50 percent of its electricity from renewable energy, and coal will make up just 11 percent of the total electricity mix.
    Add in hydroelectric power and nuclear energy, and greenhouse-gas-free electricity sources climb to 71 percent of the world’s total electricity generation. The report doesn’t offer a terribly bright future for nuclear, however, and after a period of contraction, the nuclear industry’s contribution to electricity generation is expected to level off.
    Instead, falling photovoltaic (PV), wind, and battery costs will cause the dramatic shift in investment, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) notes. “PV and wind are already cheaper than building new large-scale coal or gas plants,” the 2018 report says. In addition, BNEF expects that more than $500 billion will be invested in batteries by 2050, with two-thirds of that investment going to installations on the grid and one-third of that investment happening at a residential level.” https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/06/report-world-trending-to-hit-50-renewables-11-coal-by-2050/

  2. HAR says:

    “Between 2018 and 2020 natural gas is expected to continue to eat away steadily at coal’s share of the US energy mix, barring any regulatory intervention from the federal government.
    The competition between natural gas and coal is especially fierce this summer: the former could set a record in terms of its contribution to overall US energy generation.
    Another interesting prediction about fossil fuels: in 2018, the average price of a gallon of gasoline has been significantly higher than the year before, but that may not be great news for the oil industry, because drivers are already responding to higher prices. The amount of gas drivers will purchase in 2018 is expected to fall year over year for the first time since 2012. The contraction amounts to 10,000 barrels of oil per day not sold—a small change for the US economy but potentially a harbinger of things to come.” https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/07/us-energy-agency-sorry-coal-natural-gas-having-another-record-summer/

  3. Molly Maguire says:

    As U.S. coal demand has declined more than half of the U.S. coal mines operating in 2008 have since closed. (U.S. Energy Information Administration 1/30/19) https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=38172 As the U.S. market contracted, smaller, less efficient mines were the first to close, and most of the mine closures were in the Appalachian region.
    Meanwhile: Cloud Peak Energy executives won’t have to wait for bonuses from their troubled coal company. (Casper Star Tribune 1/29/19) https://trib.com/business/energy/troubled-wyoming-coal-firm-speeds-up-bonuses-it-says-will/article_21db1b60-a50a-570c-89be-5cc3dbc82da1.html The Wyoming firm, one of the state’s largest producers of coal, announced Tuesday that it was ditching gradually-paid retention plans agreed upon in November in favor of lump-sum payments to entice its executive team to stay.
    Cloud Peak has rapidly become one of the most vulnerable large players in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. The employer of nearly 1,000 workers at two Wyoming mines is currently at risk of being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange for sustained low stock prices. One of its recent cost-cutting measures included ending retiree health benefits.
    See also “Germany Aims to End Coal Use by 2038 at the Latest” (VOA) https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/germany-aims-to-end-coal-use/4765848.html

  4. Hope says:

    “Coal production may have reached a point of no return, per projections : EIA’s projections show that even without the Clean Power Plan, coal is on the decline.” (Ars Technica 2/6/19) https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/02/trump-doesnt-mention-coal-in-state-of-the-union/
    In President Trump’s State of the Union speech last night, he didn’t mention coal once, while touting oil and natural gas as having “unleashed a revolution in American energy.”
    The president, who has baselessly challenged the science behind climate warnings, was not expected to address renewable energy or climate change. But his omission of coal in his speech last night was notable, given that he campaigned vigorously on bringing back coal.
    …the loss of coal-burning power plants to gas-burning plants in North America has translated to decreased demand for coal [and] this technology shift seems to have changed energy projections from the EIA significantly. As the Financial Times points out, the EIA’s projections now show that coal production is expected to decline faster over the next 30 years than it did under Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

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