Utility trends

IEEFA Research

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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Coal Won’t Solve the Energy Poverty Problem

Coal Won’t Solve the Energy Poverty Problem

Times Have Changed; Old Electricity-Generation Models Don’t Work Anymore

Coal-fired electricity is no longer the economy builder its proponents say it is. Time was when coal in fact did contribute to growth in many economies, but times have changed. Today governments and private interests worldwide concede—even emphasize—the economic and environmental dysfunction of coal. We’ve just published an IEEFA Briefing Note (“Energy Poverty, Then and […]

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More News and Commentary

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 […]

Read More →

Editorial: Kentuckians Want Change

Lexington Herald Leader: Plenty of Kentuckians want to diversify the state’s energy mix to save money and create jobs. The latest example comes from Kentuckians for the Commonwealth which which has more than 11,000 members and decided that since our elected officials were not planning for the coming energy revolution, they would. With the help […]

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Industry Intensifies U.S. ‘Clean Coal’ Campaign

SNL: A broad coalition of energy industry leaders are urging President Donald Trump and Congress to include carbon capture and sequestration projects and CO2 pipelines in a national infrastructure initiative. “The expansion of carbon capture from industrial facilities and power plants can enable use of America’s abundant coal, oil and natural gas resources while reducing […]

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Citing Market Forces, New Mexico’s Power Company Announces Plan to ‘Get Entirely Out of Coal’

Albuquerque Journal: Public Service Company of New Mexico is proposing to shed all of its coal-fired electricity in the next 14 years and replace it with solar, wind, natural gas and nuclear power. The company’s latest integrated resource plan – which looks out over 20 years to determine the cheapest, most reliable and environmentally friendly […]

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Xcel Chairman: ‘The Fuel of Tomorrow Is On Sale Today’

SNL: Less than a month after President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at rolling back environmental regulations and supporting the coal industry, the country’s top buyer of wind-generated electricity showed no signs of changing its midterm strategy. “We like to say that most of our customers … want a cleaner energy product; all […]

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What’s the Fastest-Growing Occupation in America?

Washington Post: The fastest-growing occupation in the United States — by a long shot, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics — might surprise you: wind turbine technician. The number of workers maintaining wind turbines, a job with a median pay of about $51,000 a year, is set to more than double between 2014 and […]

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The Midwest Wind Boom (Iowa, Kansas, North and South Dakota, Oklahoma)

Midwest Energy News: Wind power represents more than 80 percent of the new electricity generating capacity built in the Midwest and Great Plains states over the past five years as the industry continues to grow, according to a report released today. The American Wind Energy Association’s annual 2016 report notes that two states in the […]

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Duke Energy CEO: Presidents Come, Presidents Go (‘the Only Person Running Duke Energy for 2025, 2030 and 2035 is Duke Energy’)

Charlotte Business Journal: Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good says despite talk of “reviving the coal industry” in the Trump administration, coal remains economically and environmentally challenged — and Duke won’t change its move away from the fuel. “We have to look through the changes of administration, the changes in politics and set our vision on […]

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TVA: Coal Retirements Are in Customers Best Interests

Associated Press: The CEO of the nation’s biggest public utility said Tuesday that the agency isn’t going to reopen coal-fired power plants under President Donald Trump, who has promised a comeback for the downtrodden coal industry. Tennessee Valley Authority CEO Bill Johnson said he thinks very little will actually change for the federal utility under […]

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Former Kentucky Mine Will Become a Solar Farm

Louisville Courier-Journal: An Eastern Kentucky coal mining company on Tuesday announced its plans to build what could become the state’s largest solar farm on a reclaimed mountaintop strip mine, promising jobs for displaced coal miners and energy production. The Berkeley Energy Group and EDF Renewable Energy are working to explore what they’re billing as the […]

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