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Outdated policies and byzantine processes at Bureau of Land Management hinder energy transition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

IEEFA report: Texas oil producers burned through $749.9 million flaring gas in 2018

Railroad Commission’s failure to curb flaring wastes oil and gas resources and sends revenue to oil and gas producers up in smoke

June 11, 2020 (IEEFA U.S.) — Texas oil producers burned a record $749.9 million by flaring or venting unneeded natural gas into the air, according to a report released today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). The Texas Railroad Commission, the chief industry regulator in the state, passed up the opportunity […]

IEEFA U.S.: Facebook’s green energy goals are speeding the transition of New Mexico’s electricity sector

Data Center power demand is driving a renewables push by PNM to top 40% in two years

May 14, 2020 (IEEFA) — Construction of a major data center in Los Lunas, N.M., has lifted the local economy and accelerated the state’s transition toward renewable-powered electricity, concludes a report published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). The report—Corporate Renewables Case Study: Facebook’s Green Energy Goals Are Speeding the […]

IEEFA update: Renewables surpass coal in U.S. power generation throughout the month of April 2020

Utility-scale solar, wind, and hydro exceeded coal-generated power every single day

May 4, 2020 (IEEFA U.S.) ‒ In a first for any month, renewables generated more electricity than coal on every day in April, new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows. This impressive stretch actually began on March 25, when utility-scale solar, wind and hydropower collectively produced more than coal-fired generation, and has continued […]

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 […]

IEEFA webinar: U.S. Coal Outlook 2020

Coronavirus, recession and falling demand indicate an industry on the brink

Well before the coronavirus struck and rocked the global economy, the U.S. coal sector was in a state of significant decline. The impact of COVID-19 has only exacerbated and accelerated this underlying trend. IEEFA experts will present our Coal Outlook 2020 on April 28th at 1:00 p.m. EDT in a free webinar on the latest […]

IEEFA U.S.: Throwing good money after bad, Washington gives $116 million handout to coal carbon-capture backers

Giveaways to economically unviable schemes in Illinois, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Wyoming

Word that the U.S. Department of Energy is doling out more than $100 million to support five experimental carbon capture projects sends a clear signal on how out of step the agency is and how the coal industry remains a robust lobbying force despite its fading role in the U.S. electric sector. The DOE, as […]

IEEFA U.S.: Longview coal plant – one of America’s best and newest – has just gone bankrupt

 The failure of a model project in West Virginia signals increasingly dire industry problems

This week’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by Longview Power offers a harsh glimpse into the increasingly dire state of the U.S. coal sector. The company’s principal asset is the nine-year-old, 700-megawatt Longview Power Plant in the heart of Appalachian coal country near Morgantown, W.Va., which has much more going for it than most coal-fired plants […]

April 16, 2020 Read More →

IEEFA U.S.: PNM stance on Four Corners spells danger for NTEC

Company’s ill-advised embrace of coal faces growing challenges on all fronts

Given the economic shock enveloping the global economy, financing for coal-related projects will almost certainly become much harder. On top of that, coal use by power plants had already fallen to unprecedented levels in the first three months of 2020, as utilities across the country rushed to take advantage of ultra-low gas prices, now at […]

April 3, 2020 Read More →

IEEFA U.S.: Utility-scale renewables top coal for the first quarter of 2020

Even in the age of COVID-19, rapid change is reshaping the electricity sector

For the second month in a row, and only the third month ever, electricity generation from renewables in the U.S. topped coal-powered generation. The three main utility-scale renewable sources—solar, wind and hydropower—also produced enough power to beat out coal for the first time on a quarterly basis.   A similar monthly milestone occurred in the second […]