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IEEFA Research

IEEFA Report: Three Timely Takeaways on 2016 Global Energy Transformation

IEEFA Report: Three Timely Takeaways on 2016 Global Energy Transformation

An Acceleration to Renewables, Faster-Than-Expected Shifts Regionally and Nationally, Growing Risk for Investors Who Lag Behind

Three notable takeaways emerge from the rapid transformation of the global energy economy, as we detail in a new paper we published today as the landmark Paris Agreement officially goes into effect. The global transition to renewables is accelerating. Change is happening faster than expected. Those left behind in this transition face growing financial risk. […]

November 5, 2016 Read More →

IEEFA Exxon: Telltale Crossover in Late 2014 Marks Where a Major Oil Stock Began to Go South

A Decoupling From the Larger Stock Market 2 Years Ago Portends a Future in Which the World’s Biggest Oil Company Will Be Smaller and Will Not Pay Out as Much in Shareholder Distributions

The world is moving in fits and starts but with gathering momentum toward a more diversified, low-carbon energy mix. The evidence is all around us. One exhibit, of many, is in the report we published this week—“Red Flags on Exxon: A Note to Institutional Investors”—which includes the chart here: ExxonMobil Financial Performance, 2006 – 2015 […]

October 27, 2016 Read More →
IEEFA Report: Red Flags on ExxonMobil: Core Financials Show a Company in Decline

IEEFA Report: Red Flags on ExxonMobil: Core Financials Show a Company in Decline

Potentially Irreversible Slide; Falling Revenues, Rising Debt, Shrinking Capex, Weak Cash Balances Add to Growing Reputational Risk Tied to Climate-Change Controversy; ; Institutional Investors Owe Their Shareholders a Fiduciary Review

CLEVELAND, Oct. 26, 2016 (IEEFA.org) — The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) published a report today that indicates deep financial weaknesses at ExxonMobil (XOM) and suggests the company is in potentially irreversible decline. The report—“Red Flags on ExxonMobil (XOM)”—by IEEFA Director of Finance Tom Sanzillo, cites key metrics that include a 45 […]

October 26, 2016 Read More →

IEEFA Global: A $51 Billion Gap (and a $51 Billion Opportunity) in BRICS Nations’ Renewable Energy Development

How to Meet the Goal? Through "Blended Finance" Where Public Funds Unleash Private Money

Here, in one chart, is an IEEFA picture worth a thousand words. While some $130 billion was invested last year in renewable-energy development in the BRICS countries—Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—billions more are required if these countries are to meet their commitments to climate-change mitigation policies. The four countries, in all, have announced […]

October 17, 2016 Read More →
IEEFA Europe: Blueprint for a Lignite Phase-Out in Germany

IEEFA Europe: Blueprint for a Lignite Phase-Out in Germany

Foundation-Based Approach to Closure and Clean-Up; New Czech Owners of Vattenfall Assets in Lausitz Can Afford to Foot the Bill; a Timeline That Helps Local Communities Prepare for Transition

The recent “sale” by the Swedish state-owned utility Vattenfall of its German lignite assets throws a harsh light on a dark paradox: the continued use of the world’s most carbon-intensive fuel by a country with some of the most ambitious targets to tackle climate change. The deal transfers a cluster of lignite mines and their […]

September 22, 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 →
IEEFA Report: A Cynical Re-Regulation Strategy in West Virginia

IEEFA Report: A Cynical Re-Regulation Strategy in West Virginia

FirstEnergy’s Machinations Around the Pleasants Power Station Are Designed to Shift Risk to Ratepayers

In seeking to get the West Virginia Public Service Commission to allow it to sell all or a portion of its Pleasants Power Station, Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp. is following a strategy of re-regulation that stands to benefit shareholders at ratepayer expense. The coal-fired 1,300-megawatt Pleasants plant is currently owned by a FirstEnergy deregulated subsidiary, Allegheny […]

September 8, 2016 Read More →
IEEFA Ohio: Damn Tradition, Bailouts Are Where It’s At

IEEFA Ohio: Damn Tradition, Bailouts Are Where It’s At

Update: FirstEnergy Piles Insult Onto Billions of Dollars in Injury by Threatening to Move Its Headquarters From Akron

Call me old-fashioned, but I’ve always thought investor-owned electric utilities were set up to provide power to consumers who paid for what they got.    In states where electricity is deregulated, utility companies compete for customers—just like any other business does. And in states where utilities are regulated, public-utility commissions determine how rates are set […]

August 24, 2016 Read More →
IEEFA Report: India Clings to Questionable Ultra Mega Power Plant Plans

IEEFA Report: India Clings to Questionable Ultra Mega Power Plant Plans

Viability Issues Continue to Complicate New Coal-Fired Projects

We’ve published a report today noting that while India has undergone an admirable energy-policy shift over the past few years, it is clinging unwisely to plans to build two costly coal-fired Ultra Mega Power Plants. Our report—“India’s Questionable Ultra Mega Power Plans”— details how these UMPP projects stand in jarring contrast to better-advised initiatives that […]

August 3, 2016 Read More →
IEEFA Kentucky: Owensboro Coal-Fired Power Plant Is No Longer Viable


IEEFA Kentucky: Owensboro Coal-Fired Power Plant Is No Longer Viable


Increasingly Expensive to Operate and a Drain on Ratepayers 


We’ve published a memorandum today explaining why the aging coal-fired Elmer Smith power plant in Owensboro, Ky., must be retired soon and how Owensboro Municipal Utilities would do well to invest in renewable electricity generation instead. Our memorandum describes how the plant—whose two units date from 1964 and 1974—has become increasingly uneconomic to operate and […]

More News and Commentary

Exxon Capitulates to Investors Who Want More Climate-Risk Exposure

Fortune: ExxonMobil said it would publish new details about how climate change could affect its business, in a move aimed at appeasing critics and forestalling another proxy fight next year. Until now, it had opposed such a move, in contrast to other western oil and gas majors such as Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Total. […]

December 12, 2017 Read More →

Momentum in Multi-Billion Dollar European Green Bond Market

PVTech: Nine of Europe’s industrial power giants and most prominent green bond issuers have clubbed together to put green bonds – mechanisms that are beginning to draw huge traction worldwide – at the heart of their financing strategies. Massive brands EDF, Enel, ENGIE, Iberdrola, Icade, Paprec, SNCF Réseau, SSE and TenneT, which span power, transport, […]

December 12, 2017 Read More →

Underperforming U.S. Utility CEO Devoted to Coal and Nuclear Remains Buoyant

Bloomberg News: Tom Fanning is the only energy executive in America willing to bet billions on nuclear power. The chief executive officer of utility giant Southern Co. is renowned for his boundless optimism, which he generously spreads around. He’s chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, co-leader of one industry group and a former […]

December 12, 2017 Read More →

California AG Sides With Oakland in Refusal to Allow Kentucky-Utah Coal-Export Scheme to Proceed

East Bay Times: State Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a brief in support of the city’s ban on the storage and handling of coal and petroleum coke in Oakland. The city ordinance was passed in July 2016, effectively killing plans to transport the ore through a lpanned terminal near the Port of Oakland, on a […]

December 12, 2017 Read More →

Little-Known Buyer of ‘Crown Jewel’ Powder River Basin Coal Mines Sows Doubt in Wyoming

Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune: The coal company that emerged from the ashes of the Alpha Natural Resources bankruptcy is getting out of the Powder River Basin just a little over a year since its formation. Contura Energy announced Monday that it was transferring its Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines to Blackjewel L.L.C., a private company […]

December 12, 2017 Read More →

A Federal ‘Cash for Cronies’ Plan Crafted by Coal Companies

Washington Post: Energy Secretary Rick Perry had been in office less than four weeks when he took a meeting from a coal magnate who had an urgent request. Robert E. Murray, founder of Murray Energy and a major Trump supporter, presented a four-page “action plan” to rescue the coal industry. The plan said that commissioners […]

December 11, 2017 Read More →

Midwestern Company Plans Underground Wind-Power Transmission Corridor to Eastern U.S.

Energy Mix: A company in the Midwestern United States is planning a new underground transmission line along existing railroad tracks to carry wind-generated electricity from Iowa, the Dakotas, and Minnesota to a transfer point to Chicago, then eastward to regions with high electricity demand. “We will pull some of the cheapest, most robust wind from […]

December 11, 2017 Read More →

Australian Election Bodes Ill for Adani

The Wire: The Adani group’s chances of getting a $900 million (AUD) concessional government loan — crucial to its Carmichael coal mine project — are approximating close to zero as the Australian Labour Party (ALP) is set to form the government in Queensland — the north-eastern Australian state home to the proposed Adani coal mine. […]

December 11, 2017 Read More →

U.S. Utilities, in Old-School Expansion Spree, Put Customers on the Hook for $40 Billion in Risk

Charleston Post and Courier: Over the past decade, state legislatures across the country rewrote rule books for how power companies pay for new power plants, shifting financial risks away from electric companies to you and everyone else. This rule change ignited a bonfire of risky spending — $40 billion so far on new power plants […]

December 11, 2017 Read More →

International Banks Continue to Back Coal Projects, Contrary to Policy Commitments

Financial Times: Between January 2014 and September 2017 international banks channeled $630bn to the top 120 companies planning to build new coal plants around the world. The researchers highlighted Beijing-based Industrial and Commercial Bank of China as the biggest underwriter for bond and share issues of coal plant developers, providing more than $33bn over that […]

December 11, 2017 Read More →