Friday, December 22, 2017

Utilities Closed Nearly 30 Coal Plants in 2017 Because of Economics.  Here Are the 6 Most Important

FPL coal plant implosion (Image Credit: Flickr user Captain Kimo)
Utility coal power closures driven by market economics were a regular occurrence throughout 2017.  While President Donald Trump’s “Energy Dominance” agenda gave the false impression that federal efforts could revive coal, 27 coal-fired plants totaling 22 gigawatts (GW) of capacity were announced for early closure or conversion in 2017 – roughly one every 15 days since Trump’s election.

U.S. electricity generation economics have completely reversed.  Building new coal is more expensive than building new renewable energy across the U.S., and in many parts of the country keeping existing coal plants open is more expensive than building new wind turbines (and solar, in some places).  From 2007 to 2016, 531 coal units representing 55.6 GW of capacity were retired across the U.S., at an increasingly rapid pace.

The coal plants announced for early closure in 2017 are younger in age and larger in ize than ever before, and utilities are replacing shuttered capacity with clean energy.  The reasons why utilities are choosing to close coal plants are just as informative as how they’re choosing to replace them.  Six specific closures show why this trend will continue into 2018 despite Trump’s bluster.

Read more at Utilities Closed Nearly 30 Coal Plants in 2017 Because of Economics.  Here Are the 6 Most Important

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