May 11, 2018 Read More →

On the Blogs: Coal Plant Closures to Continue, Analysts Predict

Forbes:

More coal plants are now projected to retire more quickly than experts thought a year ago, according to energy-industry analystswho gathered in Chicago on Tuesday.

Three alternative energy sources—wind, solar and natural gas—are expected to divide up the spoils, they said at the American Wind Energy Association’s Windpower 2018 conference.

“The real story I believe is in coal retirements,” said Bruce Hamilton, a director in the energy practice at Navigant, which has modeled every coal plant in the U.S. and projected 73 gigawatts will retire in the next 10 years. “That’s more than twice what we projected last year at this time. It’s more than we had two years ago when the Clean Power Plan was in the assumptions.” The projection changed in part because of more announced retirements, Hamilton said, “but more importantly, the fundamentals of the economics of coal have gotten worse, with costs going up, while the competition for coal—that is, gas, wind and solar—has all gotten cheaper.”

Navigant’s projection is more conservative than some:

“Our outlook includes about 100 gigawatts of coal retirements,” said Max Cohen, an IHS Markit analyst. “That’s about a third of the fleet.”

Dan Shreve of MAKE Consulting expects natural gas to grab much of the 80-90 GW of coal he sees retiring in the next 10 years. But, he added, more gas makes more wind possible:

More: Coal Collapsing Faster Under Trump; Wind, Solar, Gas All Benefit

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