Utility trends

IEEFA Research

IEEFA report: Poland’s biggest utility is risking financial instability by doubling down on coal-fired generation

IEEFA report: Poland’s biggest utility is risking financial instability by doubling down on coal-fired generation

New EU emissions regulations raise compliance issues at PGE; Outdated business model may cost billions; ‘An accelerated deployment of renewables’ makes more sense

June 13, 2018 (IEEFA) – New air pollution regulations coupled with rising carbon prices put Poland’s biggest utility, PGE, at serious risk of financial disarray if it continues to pursue a coal-heavy upgrade strategy, concludes a report published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. A strategic shift toward a renewable energy-based […]

IEEFA Report: Advances in Solar Energy Accelerate Global Shift in Electricity Generation

IEEFA Report: Advances in Solar Energy Accelerate Global Shift in Electricity Generation

Rapid Cost Deflation, Broad Gains in Scale; Key Momentum in China and India; Crucial Support From International Capital Markets and Tech Giants; Expansion Role Seen for National Governments

May 21, 2018 (IEEFA.org) – A report published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis describes how solar energy is accelerating the transformation of the global electricity-generation sector through gains in technology innovation and price deflation. The study—“Solar Is Driving a Global Shift in Energy Markets”—details some of the world’s biggest utility-scale […]

IEEFA Report: Privatizing Puerto Rico’s Electric Company Would Be an Impediment to Modernization  

Plan Would Hurt Ratepayers and Undermine a U.S. Commonwealth’s Entire Economy

Link to Spanish-language press release April 13, 2018 (IEEFA)— The Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico would be acting in the public’s best interest by blocking a proposed privatization of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, a new report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis concludes. The report — “Privatization Bill Will Not […]

April 13, 2018 Read More →
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 Update: How Will Westmoreland Coal’s Deepening Spiral End?

IEEFA Update: How Will Westmoreland Coal’s Deepening Spiral End?

Disappearing Market Capitalization and Unsustainable Debt

We’ve just published a research brief of interest to any person, community, business, or investor with ties to Westmoreland Coal Co. The brief—“Westmoreland Coal Is in Trouble”—lays out how the company, which produces coal for electricity generation, is hobbled by debt, is losing customers, has suffered a catastrophic drop in stock price, and appears to […]

February 16, 2018 Read More →
IEEFA India: Tamil Nadu, Population 72 Million, Emerges as a National Transition Model

IEEFA India: Tamil Nadu, Population 72 Million, Emerges as a National Transition Model

A Potential Doubling in Wind Power by 2027 and Six-Fold Increase in Solar

Feb. 7, 2018 (IEEFA) — New modelling by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) finds the Indian state of Tamil Nadu capable of doubling its wind energy capacity by 2027 and increasing its solar capacity six-fold. In a report published this week—“Electricity Transformation in India: A Case Study of Tamil Nadu”—IEEFA sees […]

February 7, 2018 Read More →
IEEFA Arizona: Fast-Track Opportunities Now in Navajo Community-Driven Solar Electricity Generation

IEEFA Arizona: Fast-Track Opportunities Now in Navajo Community-Driven Solar Electricity Generation

Strategically Situated Tribal Lands at the Heart of the American Sunbelt Hold Crucial Market Advantages; Prudent Development Strategies Will Benefit, Protect, and Profit Local People

Jan. 3, 2017 — Locally owned utility-scale solar electricity generation offers Navajo communities an immediate generational economic-development opportunity, concludes a research brief published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and DinéHózhó. The report— “Window of Opportunity: Navajo Solar—A Fast-Track Community-Driven Development Approach” — details how transformative changes in the U.S. electric utility […]

December 22, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Report: Endesa’s Plan to Upgrade Aging Spanish Coal Plants Puts €400 Million in Shareholder Wealth at Risk

IEEFA Report: Endesa’s Plan to Upgrade Aging Spanish Coal Plants Puts €400 Million in Shareholder Wealth at Risk

New Emissions Rules Loom Large Across EU; Gas-Fired Generation and Renewables Present Better Investment Opportunities; Major Utilities Are Out of Step With Markets

October 25, 2017 (IEEFA.org) — A research paper published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis finds that plans by Enel Group’s Spanish-subsidiary Endesa to sink €400 million into upgrading three aging coal-fired plants is a likely loss-making proposition under new European Union emission-control rules. The report—“How European Utilities Can Capitalize on […]

October 26, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Brief: U.K. Government at Risk in Over-Budget Nuclear Project That Stands Incomplete

IEEFA Brief: U.K. Government at Risk in Over-Budget Nuclear Project That Stands Incomplete

A Sensible ‘Plan B’ for Hinkley Point C Project in Somerset Would Avoid Extending Public Loan Guarantees

Oct. 16, 2017 (IEEFA.org) — A research brief published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis cautions the U.K. government against investing further in an unfinished nuclear project on the Bristol Channel in southwest England. The brief — “A Half-Built, High-Priced Nuclear White Elephant: How Should the U.K. Proceed With This Troubled […]

October 16, 2017 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 […]

More News and Commentary

IEEFA update: The American wind-energy horse is out of the barn

IEEFA update: The American wind-energy horse is out of the barn

Power purchase agreement prices fall

Almost a decade has gone by now since U.S. wind-turbine power purchase agreements were priced at $70 per megawatt-hour. Technology advances and efficiency gains have since driven a seemingly relentless drop in such prices. Average wind power purchase agreements had fallen to $20 per megawatt-hour (MWh) by 2016, and in December 2017, Xcel Energy—the Minnesota […]

IEEFA update: Heartland U.S. utilities continue to move away from coal

Activity of note this week in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin

The Trump administration’s proposal to invoke the wartime Defense Production Act as a back-door way to keep failing coal-fired electricity plants is little more than a sideshow to the real action taking place outside the beltway. All across America, the transition from coal to cleaner, cheaper forms of electricity generation continues, and will likely continue, […]

Utilities stick to plant closure plans despite Trump bailout order

Reuters: Several major U.S. operators of nuclear reactors and coal plants said they had not changed plans to close plants in coming years, even after the White House said it would take emergency steps to subsidize struggling operators. U.S. President Donald Trump last week directed Energy Secretary Rick Perry to take steps to keep coal […]

June 7, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA op-ed: Japan remains mostly stuck in the energy policy past

Overreliance on coal, and an odd reluctance to exploit national technology advantages

When G7 countries gather in Canada this week, it’s not unreasonable to expect that common ground will be hard to find in many policy areas. When it comes to energy policy, President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accords and his pro-coal policies have grabbed headlines and caused furrowed brows among U.S. allies. With […]

June 5, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA op-ed: Losses make Indonesian electric company a high-risk bet

Global trends make coal-fired expansion a hard case to sell

In early May, one of Japan’s major insurers, Dai-ichi Life, became the first Japanese financial institution to restrict lending to coal-fired power plants. This news came only days after Allianz, Europe’s largest insurer, announced it would immediately pull its coverage from coal-fired power plants and coal mines, and barely a fortnight after banking giant HSBC […]

Australian grid moving steadily toward renewables, decentralization

Renew Economy: The politics may not change much, but Australia’s electricity grid is changing before our very eyes—slowly and inevitably becoming more renewable, more decentralised, and challenging the pre-conceptions of many in the industry. The latest National Emissions Audit from The Australia Institute, which includes an update on key electricity trends in the National Electricity […]

June 5, 2018 Read More →

New solar plants equipped with electricity-storage capacity are proliferating across the U.S.

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): The solar energy industry has achieved its long-time quest to become cost-competitive with conventional power across wide swaths of the United States. Now it is on to a new mission: saving that energy for later. Large-scale solar power plants coupled with energy storage systems are multiplying in the U.S., as […]

June 4, 2018 Read More →

Ignoring Washington, corporate America continues to expand its renewable energy footprint

New York Times: Dozens of Fortune 500 companies, from tech giants like Apple and Google to Walmart and General Motors, are voluntarily investing billions of dollars in new wind and solar projects to power their operations or offset their conventional energy use, becoming a major driver of renewable electricity growth in the United States. “You’re […]

June 4, 2018 Read More →

MidAmerican Plans for 100% Wind by 2021

Des Moines Register: MidAmerican Energy said Wednesday it plans to invest $922 million in added wind-power capacity, equaling as much renewable energy as its customers use. “If the project is approved, it will allow our customers to get 100 percent of their annual energy use from a clean, renewable and cost-effective source,” said Adam Wright, […]

June 1, 2018 Read More →

Xcel, Hewing to ‘Steel for Fuel’ Strategy, Presses Ahead With Wind Farms in Texas and New Mexico

Utility Dive: The Texas Public Utilities Commission voted to approve two wind farm projects from Xcel Energy’s Southwestern Public Service — a 478 MW project in Hale County, Texas and a 522 MW wind project in Roosevelt County, New Mexico. New Mexico regulators had approved the proposal in March. The Commission also approved the power […]

May 31, 2018 Read More →