Author Archive: David Schlissel

Director of Resource Planning Analysis David Schlissel is a long-time consultant, expert witness, and attorney on engineering and economic issues related to energy. He has testified in more than 100 court proceedings or cases before regulatory bodies.

IEEFA Update: The Texas Electricity Transition Gains Pace

IEEFA Update: The Texas Electricity Transition Gains Pace

More Coal Plant Closings on the Horizon; Wind and Solar on the Rise

Texas continues its remarkable transition away from coal-fired electricity generation. And the trend is gaining momentum because market forces are in the driver’s seat, which is to say coal plants for the most part are no longer competitive with other sources of energy. A report we published last fall—“The Beginning of the End: Fundamental Changes […]

IEEFA Update: Kemper, Edwardsport, and ‘Clean Coal’

Construction Delays and Budget Overruns; Productivity Problems; High Operating Costs

If the “clean coal” integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) technology promoted at home and abroad by the U.S. utility industry sounds too good to be true, it’s because it is. That’s why Moody’s Investors Services warned the other day that it might downgrade the credit of Mississippi Power Company because of the declining competitiveness of […]

February 28, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Indiana: Another Coal-Fired Plant That Should Be Retired

IEEFA Indiana: Another Coal-Fired Plant That Should Be Retired

Saving the Petersburg Generating Station Would Cost Indianapolis Power & Light Ratepayers $80 Million. It’s Not Worth It.

Indianapolis Power & Light Company, a subsidiary of Virginia-based AES Corp. that provides electricity to almost a half million people in central Indiana, isn’t known for always doing right by its ratepayers. A spectacular case in point is the company’s current campaign to get the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to allow what in essence is […]

January 27, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA U.S. Coal Outlook 2017: Short-Term Gains Muted by Prevailing Weaknesses in Fundamentals

IEEFA U.S. Coal Outlook 2017: Short-Term Gains Muted by Prevailing Weaknesses in Fundamentals

Production Declining by as Much as 40 Million Tons; Prices Failing to Benefit Shareholders or Stimulate New Investment; Anemic Exports; Little or No Gain From Regulatory Relief; Increasingly Dim Employment Prospects

We’re out this morning with our annual outlook for U.S. coal markets, and the picture isn’t pretty. We see the potential for some short-lived strength in the current uptick for coal producers but the title of our assessment sums up the larger view: “Short-Term Gains Will Be Muted by Prevailing Weaknesses in Fundamentals.” You can […]

IEEFA Update: As U.S. Electricity-Generation Transition Continues, Signs of Tough Year Ahead for Coal-Power Sector

IEEFA Update: As U.S. Electricity-Generation Transition Continues, Signs of Tough Year Ahead for Coal-Power Sector

Low Natural Gas Prices and Increasingly Inexpensive Renewable Generation Technologies

The New Year has barely broken but headlines around the electricity-generation transition that is occurring across the U.S. already suggest a year for the record books. Indications are that coal-fired generation, specifically, will suffer significant additional setbacks as competition from natural gas and renewables continues to take away market share. Publications specializing in energy-development and […]

January 13, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Update: Wind Is Blowing Away Fossil-Generated Power in Middle America

IEEFA Update: Wind Is Blowing Away Fossil-Generated Power in Middle America

From Deep in the Heart of Texas to North Dakota, a Historic Shift in U.S. Electricity Production

Wind generation has grown by more than 11 million megawatt-hours (MWh) in just a year in the huge ERCOT market of Texas. The increase, which has driven wind’s share of generation to 48 million MWh in the first 11 months of 2016 from 36 million MWh in the first 11 months of 2015, has displaced […]

December 21, 2016 Read More →
IEEFA Op-Ed: Coal Will Not Recover

IEEFA Op-Ed: Coal Will Not Recover

Falling Prices for Other Fuels, Not Regulation, Is the Problem

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Coal production in the United States has declined enormously in recent years due to the simple reason that the coal-fired power industry is producing less of the country’s electricity than ever. As recently as 10 years ago, coal-fired power plants provided half of America’s power needs. Today that number is closer […]

October 24, 2016 Read More →
IEEFA Update: Many Hurdles Facing U.S. Coal-Fired Power Fleet

IEEFA Update: Many Hurdles Facing U.S. Coal-Fired Power Fleet

Old Age, the Rise of Renewables, Competition From Natural Gas, Advances in Technology

Why has U.S. coal production declined so enormously in recent years? Because the coal-fired power industry is producing less of the country’s electricity than ever. As recently as 10 years ago, coal-fired power plants provided half of U.S. power needs. Today that number is closer to 30 percent—and falling. Coal is not likely to fade […]

October 11, 2016 Read More →
IEEFA Data Byte: For Key Coal-Fired Plants in Texas, the Baseload Party Is Over

IEEFA Data Byte: For Key Coal-Fired Plants in Texas, the Baseload Party Is Over

A Picture Worth a Thousand Words on Capacity-Factor Declines Since 2008

One of the points we touched on a few weeks ago when we reported on the declining role of coal-fired electricity plants in Texas is that they aren’t the baseload workhorses they used to be. Our report—“The Beginning of the End: Fundamental Changes in Energy Markets Are Undermining the Financial Viability of Coal-Fired Power Plants […]

October 5, 2016 Read More →
IEEFA Texas: The Beginning of the End for Coal-Fired Electricity Across One of the Biggest Power Markets in the U.S.

IEEFA Texas: The Beginning of the End for Coal-Fired Electricity Across One of the Biggest Power Markets in the U.S.

Report Finds Seven Plants Emblematic of a Fading Industry

We published a research report today describing how the coal-fired electricity industry in Texas is in decline and unlikely to recover in the face of rising competition from other energy sources. Our report—“The Beginning of the End: Fundamental Changes in Energy Markets Are Undermining the Financial Viability of Coal-Fired Power Plants in Texas”—looks specifically at […]

September 12, 2016 Read More →