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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

‘FirstEnergy: Avoid’

SeekingAlpha.com: Akron, Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE:FE) disproves the popular contention that utilities are safe investments. Many investors see the utility sector as reliable due to the fact that utility companies possess territorial monopolies and have regulatory barriers protecting them from competitors. And at first glance, FirstEnergy would seem to be a utility that would be […]

June 23, 2017 Read More →

In Uptake of Wind Generation, U.S. Government Study Finds Disconnect Between Expectations and Actuality

RTO Insider: Western U.S. utilities procured three times more wind capacity in 2003-2014 than planned, showing there is a limited relationship between electricity resource planning and procurement, according to a new Department of Energy study. Expansion of nameplate wind capacity by 2015 was expected to be about 15% but was actually about 50%, likely coming […]

June 23, 2017 Read More →

On the Blogs: GE Moves Into Japanese Wind

ClimateActionProgramme.org: GE Renewables Energy – one of the largest wind turbine manufacturers in the world – has announced its development of a 66 megawatt (MW) wind energy project in the Akita prefecture in northern Japan. GE Renewables Energy said it has reached an agreement with leading architectural, civil engineering and general contracting firm, Shimizu Corporation, […]

June 23, 2017 Read More →

Trump Putdown of Wind Energy Stirs a Backlash in Iowa

 Washington Post: President Trump’s putdown of wind energy at his Iowa rally was denounced Thursday across the state, which takes pride in its position as a national leader in wind generation. Trump was talking up his support for coal during his speech in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday night when he said: “I don’t want to […]

June 23, 2017 Read More →

Regulators Acknowledge Failure of $7.5 Billion Kemper ‘Clean Coal’ Experiment

Bloomberg News: A first-of-its-kind “clean coal” power plant that utility owner Southern Co. spent years constructing in Mississippi may end up burning no coal at all — and instead just run like a natural gas generator. After years of delays and billions of dollars in cost overruns, Mississippi regulators on Wednesday called on Southern to […]

June 22, 2017 Read More →

School Funding Crisis in Wyoming as Coal Industry Struggles

Wyoming Public Media: A funding crisis brought on by a downturn in the coal industry has left policy makers struggling to figure out how to fund education. This year school districts took a hit of $34 million to their operating budgets. That’s primarily money for teachers and staff, as well as materials and supplies. But […]

June 22, 2017 Read More →

In Reversal, Legislators Move to Lift Barrier to Wind Development in Ohio

Cleveland Plain Dealer: The wind turbine industry’s efforts to regain expansion in Ohio got a boost Tuesday with the inclusion of new rules governing how close a turbine can be to adjacent properties. The new turbine setback rules would replace restrictive language that appeared anonymously in the 2014 budget bill, nearly tripling the distance a […]

June 22, 2017 Read More →

Grid Executive on Loss of Ohio Nuclear Plants: ‘The Light’s Aren’t Going to Go Out’

Crain’s Cleveland Business: There will be no reliability issues with electricity in Northeast Ohio if the Ohio Legislature refuses to subsidize FirstEnergy Corp.’s nuclear plants in Toledo and Perry — or even if the plants close down. Those aren’t likely words that the Akron-based utility wants to hear as Ohio lawmakers debate whether to enable […]

June 22, 2017 Read More →

Amid ‘Renewables Frenzy,’ Asia to Reach Peak Coal by 2024

Global Trade Review: Asia will reach peak coal in 2024, with a rapid increase in renewable energy investment set to meet the continent’s growing power needs. By 2040, there will be US$10.2tn invested in new power generation capacity worldwide, of which US$4.8tn will be in Asia, data from the New Energy Outlook 2017 report from […]

June 22, 2017 Read More →

Report: Expansion of Renewables Isn’t Undermining U.S. Grid Stability

Utility Dive: The Analysis Group’s research concludes the transition to a cleaner mix of fuels is not harming the reliability of the power grid. The new analysis comes ahead of a similar study the U.S. Department of Energy is expected to release this month, addressing whether clean energy policies are forcing coal and nuclear plants […]

June 21, 2017 Read More →