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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

Puerto Rico’s 10 Biggest Vulture Funds (and the Individuals Behind Them)

In These Times: When Puerto Rico declared a form of bankruptcy in May, it was the largest municipal bankruptcy debt in U.S. history. Puerto Rico’s more than $74.8 billion in debt and $49 billion in pension system obligations surpasses Detroit, Mich.’s $18 billion bankruptcy in 2013. Much of that debt is interest. According to a […]

October 18, 2017 Read More →

As Coal Slips in Texas, Wind Picks Up

Quartz: Although the White House is leading a campaign to burn more coal, states and utilities are largely ignoring the call. In April, West Virginia rebuffed efforts by Democratic governor Jim Justice to revive its moribund coal industry. On Oct. 13, Texas announced it, too, was turning to renewables. The retirement of three coal-powered plants […]

October 18, 2017 Read More →

Resistance at FERC to White House Plan for Aid to Coal and Nuclear Industries

Reuters: The head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said on Tuesday that a directive from the U.S. energy secretary to prop up struggling nuclear and coal power plants has initiated an important conversation, but hinted the agency may not pass the plan without changes. Late last month, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry directed FERC, […]

October 18, 2017 Read More →

Op-Ed: A Train to Nowhere

The Guardian: The dispute over the Adani Group’s proposed Carmichael mine and the associated port at Abbot Point has long been cast as a choice between jobs and the environment. We are promised an economic bonanza with 10,000 jobs and billions of dollars in royalties and taxes. For hard-pressed cities like Townsville and Rockhampton and […]

October 18, 2017 Read More →

Questions on Puerto Rico’s Montana Contract

The Weather Channel: Facing the destruction of almost its entire electrical grid after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico turned to a little-known Montana company to restore power rather than rely on a vast network of public power companies that usually comes to the rescue after disasters. Overall, progress has been slow and uneven, stoking concerns about […]

October 18, 2017 Read More →

S&P Exec: Global Shift to Renewables Will Persist, All Politics Aside

Sydney Morning Herald: The global shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy will continue regardless of political action such as President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement or outbursts from ex-Australian prime ministers, a senior ratings analyst says. “The tide has turned,” said Michael Wilkins, the head of climate […]

October 17, 2017 Read More →

Report: Nuclear Energy in ‘Terminal Decline’

SNL: Nuclear energy is in irreversible decline across the world, with the construction of new units appearing to bottom out, a new report found. “The deterioration of the situation is accelerating,” warned Paris-based nuclear consultant Mycle Schneider at the U.S. launch of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report. The 10th annual edition of the report […]

October 17, 2017 Read More →

California Grid Operator Sees a Largely Decentralized and Renewables-Driven Grid by 2030

Platts: By 2030, renewables will supply about two-thirds of California’s electricity, natural gas-fired generation will be in the process of being phased out and the West will have regional grid operators, according to a draft paper released Wednesday by the California Independent System Operator. The paper — Electricity 2030, Trends and Tasks for the Coming […]

October 17, 2017 Read More →

Op-Ed: New York Town Finds Life After Coal

Buffalo News: When NRG Energy announced the retirement of the Huntley Power Generating Station on River Road, the Ken-Ton School District and the town and county municipalities were facing a total loss of $6 million in PILOT revenues. This loss would eliminate jobs at the plant as well as services and programs offered by the […]

October 17, 2017 Read More →

Solar Industry Sees Post-Hurricane Opportunity in Puerto Rico

Bloomberg News: The solar industry has taken particular interest in San Juan in the aftermath of the hurricane. It’s primarily a humanitarian effort for these companies, but it’s also a chance to showcase an energy source capable of enduring natural disasters. Tesla Inc. is sending its Powerwall battery systems and Sunrun has sent more than […]

October 17, 2017 Read More →