Utility trends

IEEFA Research

IEEFA Report: ‘End of an Era’ for Navajo Generating Station; Vast Subsidies Would Be Required to Keep Aging Plant Online; Retirement Seen as Most Viable Option

IEEFA Report: ‘End of an Era’ for Navajo Generating Station; Vast Subsidies Would Be Required to Keep Aging Plant Online; Retirement Seen as Most Viable Option

‘No Longer Competitive’ With Rise of Natural Gas and Renewables; Staying Open Through 2022 Would Require a $740-Million-to-$1-Billion Subsidy; Through 2030 Would Require a $1.4 to $2.4 Billion Subsidy

May 10, 2017  (IEEFA.org) – The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis today published a report detailing how the failing coal-fired Navajo Generating Station in northern Arizona will require hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies to remain online for any length of time. The report—“End of an Era: Navajo Generating Station Is No […]

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 Report: A Renewables Path to Japanese Energy Security in a Post-Nuclear Era

IEEFA Report: A Renewables Path to Japanese Energy Security in a Post-Nuclear Era

Eliminating High-Risk Dependence on Imported Fuels; Exploiting Domestic Technology Advantages; Avoiding Stranded Assets in Misguided Coal Projects

We’ve just published a report that details how Japan’s post-nuclear electricity-generation economy can be viably retooled around renewable energy. Our report—“Japan: Greater Energy Security Through Renewables: Electricity Transformation in a Post-Nuclear Economy”—emphasizes the potential for national energy security through renewables, most especially wind and solar. This report documents how government policies adopted in the wake […]

IEEFA Report: A U.K. Electricity Transformation Under Way, But in Need of Better Direction

IEEFA Report: A U.K. Electricity Transformation Under Way, But in Need of Better Direction

Grid Proves Resilient in Face of 60% Drop in Coal Use in 2016; New Renewables and Interconnection Are the Future; Capacity Market Has Failed to Incentivize Modernization; More Targeted Auctions Would Help

The U.K.’s capacity market is the weak link in the country’s ongoing transition toward a resilient, low-carbon grid. That is one of the core findings in a  report—“Electricity-Grid Transition in the U.K.: As Coal-Fired Generation Recedes, Renewables and Reliable Generation Can Fill the Gap —we published today. The report finds that the U.K. grid is coping […]

March 9, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Norway: Why the World’s Biggest Sovereign Wealth Fund Should Invest in Global Renewable Energy Infrastructure

IEEFA Norway: Why the World’s Biggest Sovereign Wealth Fund Should Invest in Global Renewable Energy Infrastructure

The Sector is Growing, Returns Are Reliable, the Outlook is Positive

We published a report this morning that highlights how Norway is at a historic crossroads in how it manages some of its vast national wealth bound up in the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG). Indeed, GPFG is facing an unusually opportune moment this summer, as Parliament considers whether to enact a mandate that would have […]

IEEFA Report: China Set to Dominate U.S. in Global Renewables Boom; $32 Billion in Overseas Investments in 2016 Alone

World’s 2nd-Biggest Economy Is Bankrolling Far More Projects, and in More Countries; Gap Will Widen If Trump Administration Delivers on Policy Intentions; ‘Clean Energy Isn’t a Sector to Turn Away From’

Jan 6, 2017 (IEEFA.org) – China will likely expand its dominance of the booming global renewable- and clean-energy industries as new American energy policies come into play, concludes a report published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). “The change in leadership in the U.S. is likely to widen China’s global […]

January 6, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Europe: Can Coal Power Hang On?

IEEFA Europe: Can Coal Power Hang On?

Investors May Not Be Eager to Absorb More Losses Like Those Seen in Recent Dutch Build-Outs

Investment in new coal-fired power plants appears off the agenda in Western Europe. Witness the astonishing write-down of brand-new assets in the Netherlands, where European utility giants RWE, Uniper, and Engie have drastically reduced their valuations of plants barely a year old (read the report we published this morning, “The Dutch Coal Mistake,” which concludes […]

November 30, 2016 Read More →
IEEFA Update: IEA, Still Behind the Curve, Nonetheless Indicates Rising Stranded-Asset Risk in Fossil-Fuel Holdings

IEEFA Update: IEA, Still Behind the Curve, Nonetheless Indicates Rising Stranded-Asset Risk in Fossil-Fuel Holdings

A Not-So-Distant Future in Which Thermal-Fired Electricity Generation Declines Precipitously

The International Energy Agency, out with its annual energy-markets forecast, “World Energy Outlook 2016,” remains behind the curve but not as far behind as it was. A history of IEA underestimation of technology change has been partially remedied in this new report, but the agency’s solar and wind forecasts can at best be described still […]

November 17, 2016 Read More →
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 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

On the Blogs: Coal-Fired Nostalgia

Union of Concerned Scientists: The Department of Energy released a graphic last week that highlights six facts we may not know about coal, as if cheerleading the coal industry will minimize the fact that coal-fired electricity is the largest source of global greenhouse gas emissions and a significant contributor to air pollution that makes us […]

May 24, 2017 Read More →

Plant Cancellations and Record Low Solar Tariffs Signal More Change in India

Indo-Asia News Service: India’s decision to cancel nearly 14 gigawatts of coal-fired power stations coupled with a record low solar tariff are the strongest indications that the country’s energy transformation is gaining rapid momentum, a global institute said on Wednesday. “For the first time, solar is cheaper than coal in India and the implications this […]

May 24, 2017 Read More →

Skepticism on New U.S. Policy to Promote Baseload Thermal Generation Over Wind and Solar

SNL: On the same day that Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, raised concerns that a forthcoming study by the U.S. Department of Energy “appears to predetermine” that renewable energy has undermined the reliability of country’s electric grid, a DOE official took issue with a recent focus on baseload power. In April, Energy Secretary Rick Perry ordered […]

May 24, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Update: Questionable Priorities in Kosovo Coal-Expansion Proposal

IEEFA Update: Questionable Priorities in Kosovo Coal-Expansion Proposal

Putting a New Lignite-Power Program Ahead of a Thorough Clean-Up of Existing Generation Is a Strategy That Is Increasingly Difficult to Accept

No better example comes to mind of outdated energy policy in action than what’s unfolding in Kosovo. The tiny country’s main power plant is one of Europe’s dirtiest, as we noted in a report we published two weeks ago chronicling how hundreds of aging coal-fired electricity plants across the continent fall outside new pollution limits […]

May 23, 2017 Read More →

Coal-Generation Cancellations in India as Solar Prices Fall

The Independent (London): India has cancelled plans to build nearly 14 gigawatts of coal-fired power stations – about the same as the total amount in the UK – with the price for solar electricity “free falling” to levels once considered impossible. According to his article on the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis’s website, […]

May 23, 2017 Read More →

Florida Utility Plays Up Solar in Announcing Coal-Plant Closure

Clean Technica: Quick, how many US coal power plants are closing in just the first two years of the Trump Administration? If you randomly guessed more than 40, run right out and buy yourself a cigar. The solar and natural gas trains have left the station, and the utility Florida Power & Light Company is […]

May 23, 2017 Read More →

On the Blogs: ‘Lack of Connection to a Centralized Grid Is a Feature of Distributed Technologies, Not a Bug’

Bloomberg View: More than a billion people worldwide live without reliable access to electricity. Providing them with power will require hundreds of billions of dollars of investment, vast deployment of technology, and adaptable business and financial market strategies. Much of the job can be done with power generation systems that are not connected to a […]

May 22, 2017 Read More →

Market Trends Driving U.S. Electricity-Generation Shift

Utility Dive: Analysts told us this would happen — the traditional electric utility model would be upended, and utilities would need to adjust their business models to operate in a new energy future. Now, with plummeting prices for renewables and energy storage, the finalization of the nation’s first carbon regulations, and the proliferation of distributed […]

May 19, 2017 Read More →

On the Blogs: A ‘Must-Read’ Article in the Global Financial Press

ThinkProgress: The details of this transition are spelled out in a new, must-read, 4000-word article in the Financial Times, “The Big Green Bang: how renewable energy became unstoppable.” What is most remarkable about the article is that it appears in the Financial Times. The free-market oriented paper is the “most important business read” for the […]

May 19, 2017 Read More →

Unexpected Global Momentum Around Renewables

Financial Times: After years of hype and false starts, the shift to clean power has begun to accelerate at a pace that has taken the most experienced experts by surprise. Even leaders in the oil and gas sector have been forced to confront an existential question: will the 21st century be the last one for […]

May 18, 2017 Read More →