Author Archive: Seth Feaster

Energy Data Analyst Seth Feaster has 25 years of experience creating visual presentations of complex data at The New York Times and more recently at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He specializes in working with financial and energy data.

IEEFA U.S.: The coal boom that wasn’t

EIA data confirm long-term decline of fuel’s generation, market share

Preliminary 2021 data from the Energy Information Administration confirm what IEEFA said throughout the year: The long-term-trend in U.S. utility generation continues to move away from fossil fuels, particularly coal, and toward greater renewable energy use. Last year’s coal narrative used the historically low generation totals from 2020 to tout a supposed boom in demand. […]

IEEFA: Despite higher coal prices, U.S. coal recovery looks weak by most measures

U.S. coal sector is locked into a long-term sectoral decline

Coal prices have surged to the highest level in years in the U.S., and have soared in international markets. These high prices should significantly boost revenues and profits at coal mining companies—a remarkable turnaround from just a year ago, when the world’s pandemic-induced economic swoon sent export prices and demand tumbling. Yet by most measures—including […]

October 15, 2021 Read More →

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 Canada: Teck’s possible met coal exit an ominous sign for U.S. coal companies

Overseas demand, high prices and climate issues give Teck cover for met coal exit

Teck Resources, the Canada-based copper, zinc and coal mining company that is one of the biggest exporters of steelmaking coal in the world, is considering selling or spinning off its metallurgical coal operations, according to a Sept. 14 Bloomberg report. Any divestment of its big coal mines in British Columbia could be a signal that […]

September 21, 2021 Read More →

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.: 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: 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.: 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.: Colorado’s newest coal plant, needing extensive repairs (again), was idle for a year

Utility commission launches investigation of Comanche Unit 3 costs; seamless replacement of power adds to case for early closure

Xcel Energy’s troubled Unit 3 at the Comanche Generating Station in Colorado was offline for almost an entire year after being closed for repairs—even as customers started paying the $11.7 million cost of fixing previous problems. The latest in a long saga of failures at Comanche 3 started on Jan. 13, 2020, when it was […]

January 15, 2021 Read More →