Graph of the Day: The inevitable decline of coal-fired generation : Renew Economy

On Monday, the Union of Concerned Scientists released an update of our 2012 ground-breaking analysis, Ripe for Retirement, examining the economic viability of US coal generators compared with modern, cleaner alternatives. Our new findings, published in Electricity Journal, show that nearly 59 gigawatts (GW) of coal power capacity are not cost competitive when compared with natural gas, and more than 71 GW are uneconomic when compared with wind power. These coal generators are prime candidates for retirement and their closure would provide substantial benefits for consumers and the environment. It would also accelerate the transition to a cleaner, more reliable and affordable energy system.

Coal in Decline

As I discussed in a recent blog, the US coal power industry has been in decline for several years now. Coal-fired electricity fell from about half of US generation in 2008 to 37 percent in 2012. Going back to 2009, nearly 21 GW of coal power capacity has already retired (6 percent of the U.S. coal fleet), and another 34 GW of coal generators has been announced for closure. This includes several high profile announcements made in 2013 by major power providers, including Georgia Power, American Electric Power, and most recently, the Tennessee Valley Authority.

via Graph of the Day: The inevitable decline of coal-fired generation : Renew Economy.

Categories: Electricity, Energy