US Coal Markets

IEEFA Research

IEEFA report: U.S. likely to end 2018 with record decline in coal-fired capacity

IEEFA report: U.S. likely to end 2018 with record decline in coal-fired capacity

Utilities accelerate shutdown dates; 22 plants in 14 states this year; hard-hit regions include the Ohio River Valley

Oct. 25, 2018 — U.S. coal-fired power plant closures are on pace this year to set a record, concludes a research report published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. The report — “Record Drop in U.S. Coal-Fired Capacity Likely in 2018: Utilities Are Accelerating Shutdown Dates as Plants Grow Increasingly Uneconomic”— […]

October 25, 2018 Read More →
IEEFA report: Seven disruptions driving the modernization of electricity generation and transmission

IEEFA report: Seven disruptions driving the modernization of electricity generation and transmission

Overlapping forces spell further declines for coal-fired power

We’ve published a research brief today that looks at the underlying forces driving a global shift in how electricity is generated. Our paper—“The Seven Technology Disruptions Driving the Global Energy Transition”—is a primer on fundamental changes occurring now that are collectively displacing coal from its long-dominant role in power generation. We note in the brief […]

October 5, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA report: Fund trustees face growing fiduciary pressure to divest from fossil fuels

Oil, gas, and coal industries are seen as ‘increasingly speculative;’ Sector will continue to be weighed down by lackluster rewards and daunting risks; A ‘proper financial response’ is due

July 10, 2018 (IEEFA) — A paper published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis details the growing rationale for divesting from the fossil fuel industry. The paper—“The Financial Case for Fossil Fuel Divestment”—is aimed primarily at trustees of investment funds that continue to hold stakes in a sector that is freighted […]

IEEFA Update: Push to Keep Navajo Generating Station Alive in Deal With Arizona Water Distributor Is Fraught With Risk

IEEFA Update: Push to Keep Navajo Generating Station Alive in Deal With Arizona Water Distributor Is Fraught With Risk

Research Brief: Regardless of Ownership, Outlook for Southwest U.S. Coal-Fired Electricity Plant Is Bleaker Than Ever

April 11, 2018 (IEEFA) — The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis published a research brief today that finds the financial outlook for coal-fired Navajo Generating Station is bleaker than it was when the plant’s utility owners announced last year it would be retired in 2019. The plant’s owners—Arizona Public Service Company, the Salt River Project, […]

April 11, 2018 Read More →
IEEFA Report: U.S. Coal Market Erosion Continues

IEEFA Report: U.S. Coal Market Erosion Continues

Lower Production and Consumption as Industry Fails to Compete; a Likely Doubling of Plant Retirements; Low Natural Gas Prices Will Persist; Renewables Will Gain; Little Effect Seen from Regulatory Relief

Feb 1, 2018 (IEEFA) — The U.S. coal industry continued to shrink in 2017, and its trend toward long-term structural decline is all but sure to persist, concludes a study published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. The report—“U.S. Coal: More Market Erosion Is on the Way”—details how competition from cheap […]

February 1, 2018 Read More →
IEEFA Texas: Latest U.S. Coal Plant Shutdown Stems From a Saga in Which Investors Failed to See Change Coming

IEEFA Texas: Latest U.S. Coal Plant Shutdown Stems From a Saga in Which Investors Failed to See Change Coming

Markets Rendered a Harsh Judgment on a Bad Private-Equity Deal, Cheap Natural Gas, and the Rise of Wind-Powered Electricity

[First of two parts.] Last week Luminant and its new parent company, Vistra, announced the imminent closure of the 1,800-megawatts Monticello Power Plant in North Texas, near the Arkansas and Oklahoma state lines. It’s been a long time coming. The plant has operated at a loss for years, having failed to compete with low natural […]

IEEFA Report: Kayenta Mine Is Unlikely to Find  New Customers Once Navajo Generating Station Closes

IEEFA Report: Kayenta Mine Is Unlikely to Find New Customers Once Navajo Generating Station Closes

A ‘Buyer Beware’ on Peabody Energy Property; Regional Demand for Coal Is in Decline; Export-Market Possibilities Are Bleak; Previous Recent Mine Deals Have Failed

June 29, 2017 (IEEFA.org) — The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) published a report today concluding that Peabody Energy’s Kayenta mine in northeast Arizona is not likely to find new customers or markets once its sole customer, Navajo Generating Station, closes. The Navajo Nation Council voted this week to approve a deal with […]

IEEFA Report: ‘Payment for a Job Well Done,’ a Transition Plan in Anticipation of Shutdowns of Navajo Generating Station and Kayenta Mine

IEEFA Report: ‘Payment for a Job Well Done,’ a Transition Plan in Anticipation of Shutdowns of Navajo Generating Station and Kayenta Mine

Initiative to Limit Job Losses and Community Disruption; Investing in Economic Growth Rather Than Subsidizing Northern Arizona's Failing Coal Industry

June 6, 2017 (IEEFA.org) – The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) today published a report outlining an economic- growth strategy for a region that stands to be set back severely by the closure of the Navajo Generating Station and the Kayenta coal mine. The proposal—“A Transition Plan for Communities Affected by the […]

IEEFA Research Brief: Coal in Decline, Blow by Blow

IEEFA Research Brief: Coal in Decline, Blow by Blow

Plant Closings and the Likely Effects on Specific Companies and Mines

We’ve published a research brief today that presents an expansive snapshot of a moving target: the decline in U.S. coal-fired generation nationally. As global energy markets continue to undergo rapid transformation, change has swept the U.S. as well. Our brief—“U.S. Coal Phase-out, Blow by Blow: Plant Closings and the Likely Corresponding Effect on Specific Companies […]

April 21, 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 […]

More News and Commentary

Colorado distribution co-op wants out of coal-heavy power supply contracts

Utility Dive: A Colorado electric cooperative filed with state regulators Thursday to ditch its coal-heavy generation supplier in pursuit of cheaper renewable energy, part of an industry-wide move toward wind and solar. The Delta Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) asked the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to adjudicate a fair exit price to end its generation contracts […]

December 10, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA U.S.: A rough week for the American coal industry

Momentum around declining consumption numbers, utility-company policy, export markets and internal assessments

The economic problems facing the U.S. coal industry have been on manifest display this week. On Tuesday morning, the federal Energy Information Administration reported that coal use in the U.S. is on track to fall to its lowest level since 1979, and that by year’s end consumption will be 44% below the 2007 peak of […]

December 7, 2018 Read More →

Analysts skeptical of Trump’s latest play to save coal

Bloomberg: The Trump administration is trying to remove a key barrier to constructing new coal-fired power plants in the U.S. — but don’t expect any utilities to actually build them. The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday proposed easing Obama-era limits on carbon dioxide emissions from new and modified coal power plants, including a change that […]

December 7, 2018 Read More →

TVA’s Johnson: Utility’s coal plant closures make economic sense

Reuters: The chief executive of Tennessee Valley Authority said on Thursday the U.S.-owned power generator will keep cutting carbon emissions in future years after replacing much of its coal-fired fleet with plants run on natural gas, nuclear and renewables. Since Bill Johnson took the reigns as CEO in 2013, TVA has spent $15 billion to […]

December 7, 2018 Read More →

New opportunity in turning closed mine sites into solar installations

Energy News Network: As U.S. coal consumption continues to decline, there’s slowly growing acceptance that more mine closures are inevitable and that the system meant to help clean up and repurpose the sites is underfunded. One ray of hope for reclaiming the sites: renewable energy. Patrick Molloy, an associate at Rocky Mountain Institute’s Sunshine for […]

December 7, 2018 Read More →

Markets continue to prevail over U.S. coal industry

Marketplace: We begin on this Wednesday with some energy news, the subtext of which is market is gonna do what the market wants to do. We are talking coal specifically here, and some new numbers from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showing coal consumption this economy is on track to hit a near 40-year low. […]

December 6, 2018 Read More →

U.S. coal consumption to fall to 1979 levels by year’s end, government agency says

Associated Press: Americans are consuming less coal in 2018 than at any time since Jimmy Carter’s presidency, a federal report said Tuesday, as cheap natural gas and other rival sources of energy frustrate the Trump administration’s pledges to revive the U.S. coal industry. A report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration projected Tuesday that 2018 […]

December 5, 2018 Read More →

Analyst sees ‘storm clouds’ looming for U.S. coal exports

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): Analysts at the American Coal Council’s 17th annual Coal Trading Conference cautioned that the recent strong seaborne market for U.S. thermal and metallurgical coal could soon face pressure from slowing global economic growth and escalating trade tension. Charles Dayton, vice president for market analytics for Doyle Trading Consultants, said he […]

December 5, 2018 Read More →

‘Clean coal’ projects not so clean after all, analysis finds

Reuters: Champions of coal say the superabundant fossil fuel can be made environmentally friendlier by refining it with chemicals – a “clean coal” technology backed by a billion dollars in U.S. government tax subsidies annually. But refined coal has a dirty secret. It regularly fails to deliver on its environmental promises, as electric giant Duke […]

December 4, 2018 Read More →

S&P: No end in sight for coal plant closings

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): Despite presidential efforts to repeal regulations or otherwise boost coal consumption, power generators in the U.S. are set to retire a total of 14.3 GW of coal-fired power plant capacity in 2018, up from 7.0 GW of capacity retired in 2017, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis. This […]

November 29, 2018 Read More →