Author Archive: Dennis Wamsted

Analyst/Editor Dennis Wamsted has covered energy and environmental policy and technology issues for 30 years. He is the former editor of The Energy Daily, a Washington, D.C.-based newsletter.

IEEFA: Wyoming’s tough lesson: economic reality can’t be legislated away

Black Hills integrated resource plan shows futility of state’s pro-coal legislation

Wyoming politicians have worked feverishly over the last couple of years to protect the state’s struggling coal industry, but economic reality can’t be legislated away. That simple fact is readily apparent in the integrated resource plan (IRP) filed last month by Black Hills Corporation, which owns two small investor-owned utilities that do business in the […]

IEEFA U.S.: Arizona should move quickly to approve precedent-setting proposal for coal community transition

Utility plan would provide significant benefits for Navajo Nation, Hopi Tribe

A coal community transition funding proposal pending before the Arizona Corporation Commission would provide much-needed financial support for the Navajo Nation, Hopi Tribe and other communities affected by the shift from coal to cleaner generation sources. The commission, which regulates electric utilities, should move quickly to approve it, especially given that two years already have […]

IEEFA U.S.: Surge of coal-fired generation retirements looking like a reverse S-curve

Consumers Energy, TVA among utilities planning full exits from coal

There is an inverse S-curve developing in the U.S. coal generation sector, with announced plant retirements expanding rapidly as utilities and independent power producers adjust to the influx of cleaner and cheaper wind, solar and battery storage resources disrupting the electric system. IEEFA data shows that just since March, the generating capacity of coal plants […]

IEEFA U.S.: South Carolina regulators reject Duke’s gas-dependent integrated resource plan

Regulators in North Carolina should follow suit, require changes to Duke Energy’s inadequate IRP

July 8, 2021 (IEEFA) ⎼ South Carolina regulators last month rejected Duke Energy’s integrated resource plan (IRP), directing the utility to resubmit its proposal after incorporating nearly a dozen significant changes and new analyses. Many of these changes had been proposed by a broad group of participants in the IRP process and were recommended in […]

IEEFA U.S.: Coal-fired carbon capture projects are waste of tax dollars

San Juan, New Mexico CCS plan part of push for more ‘carbon dioxide factories’

The federal government’s support for carbon capture projects at coal-fired power plants may be politically necessary (see Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.), but it is environmentally and fiscally misguided. The potential for Department of Energy funding and the lure of federal tax credits are pushing plant owners and avaricious developers to push for the conversion of […]

IEEFA U.S.: The Texas transition gains momentum

Wind and solar top combined cycle gas generators in ERCOT for first time

The transition continues: In April, wind and solar generation in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) topped the output from its combined cycle gas turbine units (CCGTs) for the second month in a row. Equally notable, wind and solar have generated more power than ERCOT’s CCGT units (the backbone of the system’s electric generation) […]

IEEFA U.S.: The coal-to-renewables transition takes off

Pre-Biden changes underscore coming 10-year wave of coal plant retirements

The traditional S-curve growth exhibited by disruptive technologies, often cited when game-changing consumer devices, such as smartphones, take over markets and rapidly push older products out, is just as valid to describe how wind turbines and solar PV generation are shaking up U.S. power markets. This S-curve is marked by several key phases in the […]

IEEFA webinar: Duke Energy’s Carolina integrated resource plans (IRPs) Thursday, April 15

How Duke Energy's Carolina IRPs over-rely on gas while overlooking renewable energy options

Don’t miss IEEFA’s webinar on Duke Energy’s Carolina integrated resource plans (IRPs) and how the company over-relies on gas-fired generation while underrating renewables-based options ⎼ a recurring oversight in utility planning efforts in the U.S. Log in Thursday, April 15th at 1:00 p.m. EDT for an accessible deep-dive with IEEFA energy analyst Dennis Wamsted who will explore current plans and […]

April 14, 2021 Read More →

IEEFA: Birchwood coal facility closure/redevelopment highlights transition from coal to renewables

Birchwood plant shifts from coal showcase to solar-plus-storage resource

The Birchwood coal facility in Virginia is emblematic of the rapid transition from coal to renewable energy underway in the U.S. Four years ago, General Electric, which owns half of the 242-megawatt (MW) unit, planned to make the facility a showcase of its digital technologies, promising efficiency improvements, reduced emissions and lower costs. Earlier this […]

April 13, 2021 Read More →

IEEFA webinar: What’s wrong with Duke Energy’s plans for new gas-fired power plants in the Carolinas?  

Lessons may apply to other parts of the U.S. planning new gas investments and sidestepping renewables

Discover how Duke Energy’s Carolina integrated resource plans (IRPs) over-rely on gas-fired generation while largely ignoring renewables-based options ⎼ a recurring oversight in utility planning efforts in the U.S. Log in Thursday, April 15th at 1:00 p.m. EDT for an accessible deep-dive with IEEFA energy analyst Dennis Wamsted who will explore current plans and discuss alternatives. Drawing on an in-depth […]