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

Analysis shows new coal generation no longer economic in U.S.

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): Wind energy is America’s overall lowest-cost source of new power generation, when not considering incentives, while solar and natural gas-fired facilities are also the cheapest options across wide swaths of the country, according to new analysis from the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin. “This shows why, […]

November 6, 2018 Read More →

Grid CEO: No need for federal coal, nuclear bailout

Washington Examiner: The operator of the largest power market in America released a report Thursday finding that its electricity supply would hold up against a range of threats, providing evidence against the Trump administration case for preserving coal and nuclear plants. “The PJM system is reliable today and will remain reliable into the future,” the […]

November 2, 2018 Read More →

Indiana utility plans to be coal-free by 2028

Northwest Indiana Times: NIPSCO sent its new strategy for electricity generation and transmission to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission on Wednesday, formally submitting a plan to retire its coal-fired R.M. Schahfer Generating Station in Wheatfield and the Michigan City coal plant. The utility intends to replace coal with renewable sources, including solar and wind. NIPSCO […]

November 1, 2018 Read More →

Data show no big turnaround for coal production, employment

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): President Donald Trump is touting his efforts to aid the U.S. coal sector as he supports his party’s midterm election candidates, but the latest data shows that coal volume and coal jobs have remained fairly flat over the past two years as strong export markets have been offset by an […]

November 1, 2018 Read More →

Utilities, states question administration’s revised carbon dioxide rule

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): The Trump administration’s replacement for the Clean Power Plan has generally been seen as positive for the U.S. coal sector, but states and utilities have expressed concerns about compliance with the rule in comments published ahead of an Oct. 31 deadline. The Affordable Clean Energy, or ACE, rule focuses on […]

October 31, 2018 Read More →
IEEFA U.S.: Two of Duke Energy’s plants in North Carolina reflect national trend in baseload slippage for coal

IEEFA U.S.: Two of Duke Energy’s plants in North Carolina reflect national trend in baseload slippage for coal

Cases in point: Mayo and Roxboro now operate at a fraction of their capacity

Plant closures grab most of the U.S. coal industry headlines lately, but an equally important story emerging from the data illustrates another facet of change sweeping the utility industry and its suppliers: Coal is losing its foothold as a baseload power resource. This shift is occurring nationally, but what’s happening in North Carolina is a […]

October 29, 2018 Read More →

Kentucky plant headed for early-2019 closure

Utility Dive: Henderson Municipal Power and Light in Kentucky will close its coal plant early next year and turn to the open market for its power needs, as the aging plant’s energy production is consistently more expensive than available supplies. In a letter earlier this month, the Midcontinent ISO (MISO) approved the shutdown of Units […]

October 29, 2018 Read More →
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 →

Economics driving Colorado co-op away from coal

High Country News: Bill Patterson, the board president for the Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA), a rural utility in a conservative pocket of Western Colorado, thinks the shift to renewable energy just makes plain economic sense. And DMEA members agree. Last week they voted in favor of giving the electric co-op the option to sell stocks […]

October 25, 2018 Read More →

Power plant closures are turning Westmoreland’s minemouth assets into liabilities

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): Two lawyers who specialize in Chapter 11 restructuring see differing paths for Westmoreland Coal Co.: shedding debt and coming back as a leaner company with lenders in control or breaking up by selling most of its assets. Pending bankruptcy court approval, the company plans to sell its core assets, which […]

October 24, 2018 Read More →