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.: Idaho Power IRP should be required reading for Wyoming regulators, politicians

Plan shows economics, not politics, driving the shift from coal to renewables

Idaho Power’s latest revision of its 2019 integrated resource plan (IRP) charts the utility’s direction through 2040 but is likely to have the greatest impact in neighboring Wyoming in the next year or two. The IRP has Idaho Power being coal-free by 2030 and carbon neutral by 2045. This has major implications for Wyoming because […]

November 4, 2020 Read More →

IEEFA Webinar: ICYMI Project Tundra carbon capture report

Retrofitting aging Milton R. Young coal plant Unit 2 with CCS makes little economic sense

October 9, 2020 (IEEFA U.S.) ‒ In case you missed it (ICYMI), Director of Resource Planning Analysis, David Schlissel and analyst/editor Dennis Wamsted presented webinars October 6 and 7 on IEEFA’s report Project Tundra: A Step In the Wrong Direction. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is often promoted as a technology that brings benefits to […]

IEEFA U.S.: Renewables get an early start on beating coal generation

Renewable generation has already topped coal on nine days this fall, compared with just five days across the last half of 2019

The market window for coal-fired electricity in the U.S. is closing faster than ever in a shift that is especially clear as autumn sets in. From July through Oct. 5, renewables (utility-scale solar, wind and hydropower) generated more electricity than coal in the U.S. on nine days—easily topping the total of five days recorded over […]

IEEFA U.S.: Investors in gas-fired projects in largest regional power system face substantial risks

Eleven PJM projects under development may fail to prove financially viable

October 5, 2020 (IEEFA) — The landscape for developers of natural gas-fired power plants in the nation’s largest regional power system has shifted dramatically over the last decade, according to a joint study by the Applied Economics Clinic and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. The Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland (PJM) system coordinates the flow […]

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 […]