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.: 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 […]

IEEFA U.S.: Wind, solar transition in full view in Texas in March

Renewables account for 42% of ERCOT’s generation during the month

April 6, 2021 (IEEFA)—The transition from fossil fuels to wind and solar gained speed  in Texas in March. Data from the Energy Information Administration’s hourly electric grid monitor shows that wind generation in ERCOT smashed its previous high, topping 10.4 million megawatt-hours (MWh) during the month—2 million MWh above its previous high set last December. […]

IEEFA webinar: U.S. transition to renewables is likely to accelerate over next two to three years

IEEFA analysts explain why solar, wind and battery storage are poised to push fossil generation off the grid

April 2, 2021 (IEEFA) ⎼ The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis will host a webinar on Thursday, April 8, 2021 to present findings from its recently released U.S. Power Sector Outlook 2021. Authors Dennis Wamsted, Seth Feaster, and David Schlissel will show how lower-cost wind and solar, coupled with battery storage, is rapidly […]

IEEFA U.S.: Duke Energy IRPs for Carolina utilities overlook opportunities for savings from renewables

Integrated resource plans for Duke give short shrift to offshore wind, solar and battery storage

April 5, 2021 (IEEFA) ⎼ A pair of long-range plans for Carolina utilities owned by Duke Energy are all but ignoring potential savings from renewable energy sources over the next decade, according to a report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. The IEEFA report is the fourth in a series examining the […]

IEEFA U.S.: Energy transition to renewables likely to accelerate over next two to three years

Coal, gas set to become biggest losers as renewable generation climbs quickly

March 31, 2021 (IEEFA) — The speed and scope of the energy transition to renewables will pick up pace over the next two to three years, according to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis’ U.S. Power Sector Outlook 2021. Solar and battery storage adoption is enjoying almost exponential growth, and wind and solar […]

IEEFA U.S.: North Carolina regulators need to require revisions in Duke’s demand growth forecasts

Duke Energy releases electricity sales figures for North Carolina in 2020, down 5%

Duke Energy reported this month that total retail sales at its two North Carolina utilities dropped to 117,970 gigawatt-hours (GWh) in 2020, down 6,114GWh from the year before—undercutting the entire growth analysis in the companies’ pending integrated resource plans (IRPs). The starting point for those plans was roughly 124,000GWh, with projections of 1% annual growth. […]

February 26, 2021 Read More →

IEEFA: Duke Energy’s North Carolina gas IRPs fail to consider battery storage as viable option

Utility claims natural gas is cheaper than battery storage

February 18, 2021 (IEEFA) — Duke Energy’s plans for its two utilities in the Carolinas rely on outdated cost estimates to avoid expanding battery storage capacity, according to a new study by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). In their latest integrated resource plans (IRPs), Duke Energy Progress and Duke Energy Carolinas […]