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 U.S.: Gas-fired power plant cancellations and delays signal investor anxiety, changing economics

Financial concerns are likely to affect other PJM gas projects still in the planning phase

Nov. 18, 2021 (IEEFA) – A recent decision to cancel the 1,000-megawatt Beech Hollow combined gas plant in Pennsylvania is the latest warning for investors considering funding new gas-fired power plants in the PJM Interconnection (PJM) region. According to a briefing note by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), the reason is […]

IEEFA U.S.: Pension funds investing indirectly in Ohio’s Gavin coal plant are at risk as financial, environmental disadvantages mount

Declining demand for coal plants, credit agency downgrades and investor scrutiny create challenges for Lightstone investment prospects

October 14, 2021 (IEEFA) — The major pension and retirement funds that own a piece of the General J.M. Gavin (Gavin) coal plant in Ohio face increasing challenges from their investment. Most investors do not know that they own a share of the plant and some are just beginning to realize it, according to an […]

IEEFA U.S.: Surging generation from solar, wind on track to push renewable market share to 30 percent by 2026

Constant growth in renewable generation will push out costly coal and gas power

Data for the first eight months of this year show that wind generation has risen more than 25 percent since 2019 (pushing its market share to almost 9 percent) while utility-scale solar generation has jumped 55 percent (pushing its market share to nearly 3 percent). Combined, wind and utility-scale solar generation has gone up by […]

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 […]