March 18, 2019 (IEEFA U.S.) — Coal producers in the Powder River Basin continue to lose customers as utilities across the U.S. embrace a shift toward cleaner and cheaper forms of power generation, according to a report published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).
The report — Powder River Basin Coal Industry Is in Long‑Term Decline — details persistent declines in production, employment and the customer base across the basin, which has produced about 40% of the coal used in power generation nationally.
The electricity-generation sector is being reshaped by a wave of technology disruptions that have brought lower‑cost generation from natural gas and renewables, especially wind and solar, creating competition that is driving coal-fired power plants out of business.
“These disruptions have led to a sharp decline in coal consumption for power generation—the dominant market for PRB coal,” said Seth Feaster, an IEEFA data analyst and lead author of the report. “The trends are also expected to continue, pushing more coal plants into retirement.”
The report analyzes potential impacts on 16 Powder River Basin mines, and finds three emerging categories:
Full report here: “Powder River Basin Coal Industry Is in Long-Term Decline: Fast-Changing Markets Indicate Deeper Downturns to Come in Montana and Wyoming”
Media Contact: Vivienne Heston, [email protected], +1 (914) 439-8921
The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) conducts global research and analyses on financial and economic issues related to energy and the environment. The Institute’s mission is to accelerate the transition to a diverse, sustainable and profitable energy economy.