Utility trends

IEEFA Research

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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India’s Electricity-Sector Transformation

India’s Electricity-Sector Transformation

New IEEFA report- India’s energy transformation gathers momentum

10 August, 2015: India’s ‘seven horses of energy’ electricity sector transformation is gathering pace, with far-reaching ramifications for renewable energy development and the structural decline of seaborne thermal coal, according to a new report released today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and Indian energy analysis firm, Equitorials. The report – […]

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More News and Commentary

Municipal Utility Says Changing Energy Economics Will Shut 116-Year-Old Kentucky Coal Plant

Kentucky Public Radio: A coal-fired power plant in Western Kentucky will stop burning coal entirely in the next five years. The Owensboro Municipal Utility’s board made the decision last week to retire the second unit of the Elmer Smith power plant in Owensboro, marking the end of the utility’s 116 years of burning coal in […]

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IEEFA Report: A Viable, Low-Carbon Path Toward Energy Security for Japan’s Post-Fukushima Economy

Eliminating High-Risk Dependence on Imported Fuels; Vast Potential in Renewables and Buildout Around Domestic Technology Advantages; Stranded Assets in Coal Projects; Little Chance of Nuclear Industry Recovery

March 21, 2017 (IEEFA) — A report published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis details how Japan’s post-nuclear electricity-generation economy can be viably retooled around renewable energy. The 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 […]

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IEEFA Update: Peabody’s Recovery Plan Overstates the Market for Coal

Fragile Back-to-Black Balance Sheet Stands to Leave Investors in the Red; Likely Underperformance on Production and Revenue Forecasts

Last week’s bankruptcy court approval of Peabody Energy’s reorganization plan should be cause for investor alarm. The flaws in the plan are fundamental: First, the company is claiming an increase in coal sales at a time of a declining market. The company in fact faces the likely loss of five to seven million tons per […]

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Case for Closure of Nevada Coal Plant Turns on Economics

Associated Press: Lawyers who’ve preached against the environmental evils of coal-burning power plants for decades are trying to force the closure of the last significant one in renewable energy-rich Nevada with arguments based on a different sort of green: money. “It used to be that we had to come in and say closing these plants […]

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A Global Decoupling From Fossil Fuels

Utility Dive: Stricter emissions regulations, a decline in the use of coal, cheaper natural and the rise of clean energy have all helped keep global emissions flat since 2014. The progress has been apparent. According to the IEA, 2016 emissions in the United States were at their lowest level since 1992, almost a quarter century […]

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Poll: 83.8% of North Carolinas Oppose Duke Energy Charging Ratepayers for Coal-Ash Cleanup; 83.2% Favor Politicians Who Support Renewables

Charlotte Business Journal: Duke Energy gets bad news in a new poll on N.C. voter attitudes on energy: Three-quarters of voters surveyed are concerned about Duke’s coal-ash ponds and 83.8% say Duke itself should pay for cleaning them up and not charge customers. And 67.5% of voters surveyed in a poll commissioned by Conservatives for […]

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Xcel Energy Sees Expansion of Wind Assets Through Upper Midwest

Utility Dive: Xcel Energy wants to add 1,550 MW of wind energy to its system through a mixture of power purchase agreements and utility-owned projects that will increase the company’s wind portfolio 60% and provide power for more than 800,000. The investment, which Xcel first announced last year, should help the utility deliver more than […]

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New Mexico Utility: Closing Coal-Fired San Juan Plant Would Be to Customers’ Benefit

The Santa Fe New Mexican: The Public Service Company of New Mexico said Thursday it is considering shutting down the remaining coal-burning units at its San Juan Generating Station near Farmington in 2022, a move that was applauded by renewable energy advocates but could result in hundreds of laid-off workers. The utility said in a […]

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Google Project Sunroof: 4 or 5 U.S. Homes Have Solar Potential

Endgadet.com: According to Google Project Sunroof, 79 percent of all US rooftops are solar viable, meaning they have enough unshaded area for solar panels. Obviously, some regions are better than others — over 90 percent of homes in Hawaii, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico are technically viable, but even northern states like Pennsylvania, Maine and […]

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Nevada Coal Plant Closes

Las Vegas Review Journal: One of Southern Nevada’s oldest and most controversial power plants has ceased operation after burning through its stockpile of coal. The Reid Gardner Generating Station, 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, switched off its final unit over the weekend after more than 50 years of operation. During a media event Thursday, […]

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