Commentary

IEEFA Update: The Coal ‘Comeback’ of 2017

IEEFA Update: The Coal ‘Comeback’ of 2017

The Second-Worst Production Performance in at Least 30 Years Isn’t Much of a Bounce

The U.S. coal industry is making a comeback. So goes the story being spun lately by the industry itself, even if the facts of the matter suggest something else. The coal industry points, among other statistical threads, to the latest Short-Term Energy Outlook from the Energy Information Administration, released July 11, as a harbinger of […]

July 28, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Update: A Growing Sense Across Energy Markets, and Among Market Players, That Change Is Gaining Pace

Peak Oil Demand; a Blockbuster Wind Deal; Battered Coal

Two stories this week got some bombshell play still ricocheting around. First was Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden saying the company, second only to Exxon Mobil among the oil majors and the biggest energy outfit in Europe, sees peak demand for oil occurring sooner than anticipated, contrary to the comparatively stodgy and widely […]

July 28, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Update: Across a Bedeviled Industry, Too Much Coal Is Being Mined Still for Too Few Customers

IEEFA Update: Across a Bedeviled Industry, Too Much Coal Is Being Mined Still for Too Few Customers

As Arch and Cloud Peak Go First on 2nd-Quarter Filings, No Indication of a Long-Term Turnaround

Arch Coal and Cloud Peak Energy will report earnings tomorrow, the first out of the gate among the major U.S. coal producers. Whatever emerges in the details won’t alter the fundamental problems bedeviling the industry. A few notes on what we see: SNL, the energy-industry data repository, has overall coal production for Q2 declining from […]

July 26, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Update: A Texas Coal Domino Teeters

IEEFA Update: A Texas Coal Domino Teeters

‘If It's Not Economic for Us, It Won't be Economic for Anybody Else’

Conceding finally that it is uneconomical to operate the Gibbons Creek coal plant except during the hottest months of the year, the owners of the plant have announced it will run now only from June through September. The news is emblematic of a broad shift nationally away from coal-fired electricity and is notable for being […]

IEEFA Extra: How Sustainable Is India’s Solar Boom?

IEEFA Extra: How Sustainable Is India’s Solar Boom?

Momentum Depends Substantially on Strong Policy Leadership

[Editor’s note: This Q&A is condensed from the original, which appeared today on IndiaSpend, a data-journalism project of The Spending & Policy Research Foundation in Mumbai] Q: What is causing the cost of solar-cell technology to drop so drastically and how much of a contributor is this to the drop in price of solar power? […]

July 24, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Update: The Truths Not Everybody Wants to Hear

The Wind Industry Is Creating Jobs; ‘Clean Coal’ Is a Myth; Change Is Happening Now

Wyoming doesn’t have much of a wind-energy workforce. But isn’t that a good problem to have? It means that as the state’s budding wind industry is creating jobs, bringing new money is coming into a struggling region, and offering some much-need diversification to a longtime one- or two-note economy. What it doesn’t mean is that […]

July 21, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Europe: The Carbon-Capture Dream Is Dying

IEEFA Europe: The Carbon-Capture Dream Is Dying

As Engie and Uniper Walk Away From a Demonstration Project, the Outlook for ‘Clean Coal’ Generation Is Bleak

The collapse of a Dutch “clean coal” power project has ended near-term prospects for carbon capture and storage (CCS) in European power generation. That leaves proponents of the technology having to turn instead to smaller, industrial applications. And while CCS may make sense on a more limited scale, big problems remain there too. The complicated […]

July 20, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Op-Ed: The World Is Watching as the Biggest Utility in the Second Most Populous Country Shifts Gears

India's National Thermal Power Corporation Emerges as a Transition Cornerstone

A Morgan Stanley downgrade this month of the Indian utilities industry highlights how renewable energy is becoming so cheap that thermal power, mostly coal, is no longer competitive. This is a highly significant market signal likely to be accompanied by further growth in the already impressive number of high-caliber international investors moving into India’s renewables […]

July 19, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Europe: Legal Challenge to Spain’s Capacity Market Payments Is Well-Founded

IEEFA Europe: Legal Challenge to Spain’s Capacity Market Payments Is Well-Founded

Spanish Environmental Groups Say Their Country is Violating European Commission Guidelines; Spain Should Retire Excess Capacity Before Paying Plants to Stay Online

A recent call by two environmental organizations for a formal state aid probe into Spain’s payments subsidizing gas- and coal-fired power plants appears to be well warranted, given multiple breaches of European state aid guidelines revealed by IEEFA in our December 2016 report, “Spain’s Capacity Market: Energy Security or Subsidy?” The Instituto Internacional de Derecho […]

July 14, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Op-Ed: To Avoid Heavy Losses, Insurance Companies Must Wake Up to Risks of Fossil Fuel Projects

Some Insurance Giants Have Divested from Coal, Yet Sector Continues to Underwrite Coal Projects and Fails to Ask the Right Questions

Insurance underpins our industrial society. Without prudent risk management by the insurance industry, no high rise can be built and no major factory can be operated. Taking a long-term view on risk, insurance companies have warned about the impacts of global warming and encouraged climate action since the 1970s. Their far-sighted position is not purely […]

July 13, 2017 Read More →