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.: 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 […]

IEEFA U.S.: Duke IRPs overstate likely future demand growth

More realistic estimates would undercut case for new gas-fired generation

February 3, 2021 (IEEFA) — Forecasts used by Duke Energy that predict steadily rising demand for electricity in the Carolinas ignore the company’s sales history in the past 15 years, which have been essentially flat, and should be challenged by state regulators, according to a new study by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial […]

IEEFA U.S.: Duke IRPs focus on new gas-fired generation, creating serious stranded-asset risks

Combined-cycle plants would be forced to retire well before end of operating life to meet 2050 net-zero goal

January 26, 2021 (IEEFA) — A pair of integrated resource plans (IRPs) for Duke Energy’s two North Carolina utilities rely heavily on the construction of gas-fired power plants that would have to be retired long before the end of their life span, according to a new report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial […]

IEEFA U.S.: Investors would best avoid two proposed Virginia combined-cycle gas plants

Unneeded projects, if they go forward, will likely end up as stranded assets

Investors should think twice before putting any money into two proposed natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plants in central Virginia. The rapidly moving transition to non-fossil generation resources is almost certain to turn the two plants, which would be only a mile apart, into stranded assets well before the end of their normal life expectancies. The […]

December 23, 2020 Read More →

IEEFA U.S.: Coal plants close as renewable energy construction rises

Two sectors heading quickly in opposite directions

Joe Biden’s win in the U.S. presidential election has sparked thousands of words about coming changes to the electric utility sector; the reality is that the marketplace is already quickly pushing these changes. During the past three weeks, seven utilities have announced plans to close or convert almost 9,500 megawatts (MW) of coal-fired generation across […]

November 20, 2020 Read More →