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

TVA board votes to close Paradise, Bull Run coal plants

Reuters: The Tennessee Valley Authority voted on Thursday to close two aging coal-fired power plants, including one supplied by a company led by a major supporter of President Donald Trump, who had urged the U.S.-owned utility to keep it open. “It is not about coal. This decision is about economics,” said President and Chief Executive […]

February 15, 2019 Read More →

North Dakota tops Texas as largest U.S. lignite producer

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): A sharp decrease in Texas lignite coal output handed North Dakota the title of top U.S. lignite producer in 2018 for the first time in at least a decade, as mine closures and alternative energy sources continue to reduce coal’s share of the energy mix in Texas. Year over year, […]

February 14, 2019 Read More →

80% of power generation growth in Texas seen as coming from wind or solar

S&P Global Market Intelligence: More than 80% of the new power generation capacity expected to come into service in 2019 in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas region will be either wind- or solar-driven, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis. Overall, the region, which encompasses most of the state of Texas including major […]

February 13, 2019 Read More →

L.A. steps back from plans to expand power generation fossil-fuel footprint

Los Angeles Times: Los Angeles is abandoning a plan to spend billions of dollars rebuilding three natural gas power plants along the coast, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Monday, in a move to get the city closer to its goal of 100% renewable energy and improve air quality in highly polluted communities. The mayor’s decision marks […]

February 13, 2019 Read More →

A wind-tech boom in Texas

Houston Chronicle: Wind turbine service technicians will be in high demand from now until at least 2026, according to the government-funded Projections Managing Partnership that uses data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Between 2017 and 2019, the number of jobs to service wind turbines will increase 20.1 percent, the data shows. And by […]

February 13, 2019 Read More →

TVA assessment recommends closing Paradise, Bull Run coal plants

Times Free Press: The Tennessee Valley Authority is proposing to close two more of its coal-fired power plants due to stagnant or declining power demand in its 7-state region. Despite opposition to the plant closings from President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Monday night, TVA’s final environmental assessments released Monday concluded that TVA should shut […]

February 12, 2019 Read More →

Idaho Power executive says company on ‘glide path away from coal’

Idaho Press: Idaho Power’s energy profile has gotten cleaner and more renewable-based over the past 10 years, a shift rooted in a mix of legal requirements and economic factors. Idaho Power’s use of coal has declined considerably over the past decade. In 2008, 46.1 percent of Idaho Power’s energy came from coal. In 2017, the […]

February 11, 2019 Read More →

Wyoming landowners sue state over coal company bonding claims

Casper Star Tribune: A northern Wyoming landowners’ group is suing the state for declining to prove that $27 million in ranchland used as collateral for a coal mine’s cleanup is really worth that much money. The dispute concerns Blackjewel LLC, a relative newcomer to Wyoming coal country. The firm announced that it had acquired Eagle […]

February 11, 2019 Read More →

New Mexico legislation would speed closure of San Juan coal plant

Santa Fe New Mexican: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and several environmentalist groups on Thursday praised legislation aimed at ensuring the shuttering of the coal-burning San Juan Generating Station near Farmington and establishing ambitious targets for pushing New Mexico toward more reliance on renewable energy sources. The bill is intended to soften the financial hit both […]

February 8, 2019 Read More →

IEEFA report: West Virginia shale development falls short of economic promise

Exhibits “resource curse,” dashes expectations for jobs, taxes, and growth

The nearly six-fold increase in West Virginia’s natural gas production in the last decade, due largely to shale development, or fracking, has fallen short of expectations for economic growth, job creation, and tax revenue generation, according to a new report released by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and the West Virginia […]

February 7, 2019 Read More →