US Coal Markets

IEEFA Research

IEEFA: Review of U.S. coal leasing program misses the point, may slow energy transition

IEEFA submits comments to Bureau of Land Management on coal leasing program

October 1, 2021 (IEEFA) – The United States government should not spend any time reforming the coal leasing process because new coal leases are no longer needed, according to comments submitted to the United States Bureau of Land Management by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. “As the owner of the coal reserves, […]

IEEFA U.S.: Municipal ratepayers face mounting costs from expensive American Municipal Power projects

Gap between costs from Prairie State, Combined Hydro Project and market prices continues to grow

September 9, 2021 (IEEFA)—Newly available data shows American Municipal Power’s (AMP) Prairie State and Combined Hydro Project have caused costs to continue climbing for municipal ratepayers, according to an analysis by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).  Data covering January 2020 through July 2021 showed that Cleveland Public Power (CPP) and its […]

IEEFA: Gas power plants assuming a constant capacity factor are being financially overvalued

IEEFA: Gas power plants assuming a constant capacity factor are being financially overvalued

Investors beware, capacity factor trends and LCOE analysis show gas-fired power plants likely to be stranded assets into the future

24 June 2021 (IEEFA Australia): The Australian government may be relying on inaccurate financial assumptions for its gas-fired recovery as most gas- and coal-fired power plants in Australia, the UK, the U.S. and China are being operated less and less – what’s called a declining capacity factor, finds a new report by the Institute for […]

IEEFA U.S.: Investors hesitate to fund San Juan Generating Station CCS retrofit

IEEFA U.S.: Investors hesitate to fund San Juan Generating Station CCS retrofit

Enchant Energy’s carbon capture project is significantly behind schedule as it struggles to secure investors

May 27, 2021 (IEEFA) – Enchant Energy and the City of Farmington have failed to convince potential investors that retrofitting New Mexico’s San Juan Generating Station for carbon capture is financially viable, according to a report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).  The project, which has yet to secure the funds […]

IEEFA: Carbon capture goals miss the mark at Boundary Dam 3 coal plant

IEEFA: Carbon capture goals miss the mark at Boundary Dam 3 coal plant

Carbon capture at SaskPower’s Boundary Dam 3 facility falls far short of projections

April 20, 2021 (IEEFA) — An announcement by a Canadian power company that it’s met carbon capture goals shouldn’t be taken at face value, according to a briefing note released today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. SaskPower, the operator of the Boundary Dam 3 coal plant, said March 31 that its […]

IEEFA U.S.: Energy transition to renewables likely to accelerate over next two to three years

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.: Wind surpassed coal as No. 1 fuel source in 2020 for Southwest Power Pool

IEEFA U.S.: Wind surpassed coal as No. 1 fuel source in 2020 for Southwest Power Pool

Wind energy growth due to geography, design factors, and new installations

February 11, 2021 (IEEFA) — Wind surpassed coal as the primary power generation source last year for the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), an independent grid operator that provides electricity for a vast territory stretching from the Texas Panhandle to the Canadian border. An analysis by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) found […]

IEEFA U.S.: Virginia coal plant’s future isn’t bright: preparation for  transition should commence now

IEEFA U.S.: Virginia coal plant’s future isn’t bright: preparation for transition should commence now

Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center (VCHEC), one of the newest in U.S., risks closure due to market forces

December 16, 2020 (IEEFA)—Retiring the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center (VCHEC) will bring unnecessarily abrupt economic hardship to Wise County if state and local officials do not begin to plan now for a transition, concludes a report published today by the Institute for Energy Economic and Financial Analysis. The 8-year-old coal-fired power plant, owned by […]

IEEFA U.S.: Colorado electric wholesaler is alienating cost-conscious co-ops with its fossil commitments

IEEFA U.S.: Colorado electric wholesaler is alienating cost-conscious co-ops with its fossil commitments

Tri-State currently plans using coal through 2050 and expanding into gas; projected rate increases of 55% by 2050

Nov. 17, 2020 (IEEFA) — One of the biggest power suppliers to rural electric co-ops in the U.S. is putting its business model at risk as members clamor for better access to renewable energy, more affordable rates, and more say in how they buy or produce power, concludes a report released today by the Institute […]

and November 17, 2020 Read More →
IEEFA update: Peabody Energy flirts with bankruptcy—again

IEEFA update: Peabody Energy flirts with bankruptcy—again

Bear market for coal, new financial pressures push world’s largest coal company towards default

Just three-and-a-half years after emerging from its previous bankruptcy, Peabody Energy—the world’s largest private coal miner—admitted to investors on Monday that it could face yet another trip to bankruptcy court in the coming months. Coal bankruptcies in the United States have become increasingly common. Cheap gas and renewable power have steadily replaced coal in the […]

More News and Commentary

Evergy plans to add 1,000 megawatts of wind power by end of 2026

Kansas City Business Journal: Evergy Inc.’s efforts to shift away from coal-fired power plants in favor of renewable energy sources got a boost on Monday. The Kansas City-based utility released a request for proposals to purchase up to 1,000 megawatts of wind energy [PDF] that could be in service by the end of 2026 or […]

October 19, 2021 Read More →

Puerto Rico grid woes lead to grassroots push for more renewables

The Guardian: Rosalina Marrero spends the best part of each day ironing and watching telenovelas at her modest bungalow in Puerto Rico’s coastal Guayama province. When it gets too hot or her asthma plays up due to the toxic coal ash from the nearby power plant, the 78-year-old widow rests on an adjustable hospital bed, […]

October 18, 2021 Read More →
IEEFA: Despite higher coal prices, U.S. coal recovery looks weak by most measures

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 →

Investors shying away from planned $1 billion carbon capture project in North Dakota

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): The U.S. has seen lawmakers from both parties agree that carbon capture is one important way to rein in greenhouse gas emissions and rural communities are rallying around plans to retrofit large American coal power plants with the technology to save jobs. But one of the most high-profile carbon capture […]

October 15, 2021 Read More →
IEEFA U.S.: Southern Company demolishes part of the $7.5 billion Kemper power plant in Mississippi

IEEFA U.S.: Southern Company demolishes part of the $7.5 billion Kemper power plant in Mississippi

Kemper plant is a cautionary tale of runaway costs and failed promises

Two explosions rocked the Kemper power plant on Saturday as can be seen from footage posted on Twitter. The images dramatize the demise of a “clean coal” project that eventually ballooned in cost from an estimated $3 billion to $7.5 billion.  Driven by hubris and greed, and despite repeated warnings about the risks involved in […]

October 14, 2021 Read More →

Michigan utility DTE moves up closure of Belle River coal plant to 2028

The Detroit News: DTE Energy Co. said Wednesday it will stop burning coal in its Belle River Power Plant in St. Clair County’s China Township in 2028, two years earlier than originally planned, in response to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency policy change. The move, according to the Detroit-based utility company, means it can accelerate […]

October 14, 2021 Read More →

Illinois city to close coal plant two years early rather than repair it

S&P Capital IQ ($): The city of Springfield, Ill., is closing a unit of the Dallman coal plant early, citing repair costs. The city said the 192-MW Unit 33, located in the Midcontinent ISO’s territory, was initially scheduled to close Sept. 15, 2023. Damage to the unit in June forced the generator offline, necessitating repairs […]

October 12, 2021 Read More →

Plans cancelled for 1,000-megawatt gas-fired Pennsylvania plant

S&P Capital IQ ($): Robinson Power Co. LLC, an independent power producer in Pennsylvania, will not move forward with plans to develop its gas-fired 1,000-MW Beech Hollow CC Plant. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Robinson submitted a request on Sept. 29 to terminate any permits associated with the Beech Hollow project, and […]

October 8, 2021 Read More →

Ohio utility regulators edited audit to support taxpayer coal bailout

Ohio Capital Journal: Documents show state utility regulators sought edits to draft versions of an audit they commissioned, prompting the removal of declarations that a ratepayer-funded bailout of two uneconomic coal plants was a bad deal for Ohio electric customers. Staff at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, which sets customers’ water and electric rates, […]

October 7, 2021 Read More →

Arizona mulls recovery plan for coal community closures in Native areas

E&E News ($): Utility regulators in Arizona are considering a proposal to distribute $144.5 million to predominantly Native American communities affected by the closure of coal-fired power plants in a case that could have national implications for fossil fuel-dependent regions. The Arizona Corporation Commission kicked off a three-day hearing this week on a utility rate […]

October 6, 2021 Read More →