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.: Ratepayers face risks with Project Tundra’s retrofit of aging N.D. coal-fired plant

Unproven technology funded by federal tax credits unlikely to pay off

September 22, 2020 (IEEFA) — A plan to retrofit an aging coal-fired plant in North Dakota with unproven carbon capture and storage technology is likely to raise rates for customers who get electricity from the Milton R. Young Unit 2 facility, according to a new report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis […]

IEEFA update: Dwindling odds of success for retrofit of New Mexico coal plant with carbon capture

Barriers include recent failure of similar experimental project, oppositional market forces, no known investors, no customer base, nowhere to sequester emissions

Sept. 16, 2020 (IEEFA) — The proposed retrofit with carbon capture technology of a coal-fired power plant in San Juan County, N.M., shows dwindling chances of success, according to a briefing note released today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). The analysis concludes that the plan is most likely a lost […]

IEEFA U.S.: Georgia solar+hydro electricity output tops in-state coal generation during first half of 2020

Bowen and Scherer, the two largest coal-fired power plants in the U.S., lost out to cheaper—and greener—alternatives

Fresh data from the Energy Information Administration points to the monumental nature of the transition under way in the U.S. utility sector and localizes it dramatically in Georgia, where utility-scale solar and hydropower for the first time generated more electricity than coal during the first half of the year.  This is of special note because […]

and September 10, 2020 Read More →

IEEFA U.S.: Abrupt shift to renewables at Indiana utility underscores a broader trend

Strategies that rely on gas as a ‘bridge fuel’ are falling out of favor

The speed of the utility industry’s embrace of renewable energy and its unwillingness to build costly new fossil fuel generation—gas or coal-fired—is occurring much faster than would have been thought possible just a few years ago. In 2016, Southern Indiana Gas and Electric (SIGECO) proposed building a 700-megawatt (MW) combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plant […]

August 27, 2020 Read More →

IEEFA op-ed: Glenrock’s CO2 capture facility hopes are based on wishful thinking

Glenrock Energy wants to invest in a carbon dioxide (CO2) capture facility at PacifiCorp’s Dave Johnston Unit 4 coal plant in Converse County. The facility would inject CO2 captured from the coal plant into the ground to force more crude oil out, a process known as enhanced oil recovery (EOR). However, Glenrock’s proposal is based […]

IEEFA U.S.: Mothballing of Petra Nova carbon capture project shows likely fate of other coal-fired CCS initiatives

Red flags for investors - risks for Enchant Energy’s initiative in New Mexico and Project Tundra in North Dakota

August 3, 2020 (IEEFA) — A research brief published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) concludes that the abrupt recent shutdown of the Petra Nova coal-fired carbon capture plant in Texas should be seen as a strong signal for investors to avoid such projects. The report—Petra Nova Mothballing Post-Mortem: Closure […]

IEEFA U.S.: Solar will push much of remaining Texas coal fleet offline

Growth in utility-scale PV is rapidly changing ERCOT market

July 14, 2020 (IEEFA) — New utility-scale solar is poised to push much of the remaining coal-fired power fleet across Texas into retirement in the next few years, finds a new report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). The report — Solar Surge Set to Drive Much of Remaining Texas Coal-Fired […]

IEEFA U.S.: Utilities are now skipping the gas ‘bridge’ in transition from coal to renewables

New strategies in Arizona, Colorado, Florida and New Mexico signal an abrupt break with fossil fuels

Last week was a momentous one in the U.S. utility sector’s transition from fossil fuels to renewable power generation. Utilities in three states announced plans to close one or more of their coal plants and build new renewables—without adding any new gas-fired generation to serve as a “bridge.” Two of the three proposals, from Tucson […]

IEEFA report: Utility-scale solar remains off-limits on most of more than 100 million federally-owned acres across solar-rich Southwest U.S.

Outdated policies and byzantine processes at Bureau of Land Management hinder energy transition

June 16, 2020 (IEEFA U.S.) ‒ The largest property owner in the U.S.—the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)—has acreage set aside for utility-scale solar development on only 0.03% of the roughly 100 million acres it manages across the sun-rich Southwest, finds a report published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. The […]

ICYMI: Outlook 2020 shows trouble ahead for coal sector

Headwinds include slowing demand, increasing bankruptcies and more affordable renewables

May 1, 2020 (IEEFA U.S.) – The U.S. coal industry continues to face strong headwinds including shrinking energy demand as a result of a contracting global economy slowed by the coronavirus pandemic, according to IEEFA experts. The outlook for 2020 remains bleak as increasing plant closures and bankruptcies rock the coal sector. IEEFA analyst/editor Dennis […]