• 3 minutes Nucelar Deal Is Dead? Iran Distances Itself Further From ND, Alarming Russia And France
  • 5 minutes Don Jr. Tweets name Ukraine Whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella. Worked for CIA during Obama Administration, Hold over to Trump National Security Counsel under Gen McCallister, more . . . .
  • 9 minutes Shale pioneer Chesepeak will file bankruptcy soon. FINALLY ! The consolidation begins
  • 12 minutes China's Blueprint For Global Power
  • 3 hours Science: Only correct if it fits the popular narrative
  • 3 hours Crazy Stories From Round The World
  • 11 hours What are the odds of 4 U.S. politicians all having children working for Ukraine Gas Companies?
  • 16 hours EU has already lost the Trump vs. EU Trade War
  • 9 hours China's Renewables Boom Hits the Wall
  • 1 day ''Err ... but Trump ...?'' *sniff
  • 50 mins Do The World's Energy Policies Make Sense?
  • 10 hours Forget out-of-date 'dirty oil' smear, Alberta moving to be world's cleanest oil industry
  • 1 day Pioneer's Sheffield in Doghouse. Oil upset his bragging about Shale hurt prices. Now on campaign to lower expectations, prop up price.
  • 3 hours Impeachment Nonsense
  • 1 day Tesla Launches Faster Third Generation Supercharger
  • 16 hours Water, Trump, and Israel’s National Security
  • 2 days Passerby doused with flammable liquid and set on fire by peaceful protesters

Breaking News:

Russia Plans To Boost Crude Oil Exports

In Pursuit Of The Perfect Fuel

In Pursuit Of The Perfect Fuel

Dark matter is arguably the…

Wave of Coal Retirements Coming by 2016

There will be many more closures of coal-fired power plants around the country over the next two years than has been announced thus far, according to the Energy Information Administration. As of December 2013, data from power plant companies that reported their plans to the EIA over the next few years suggests that utilities will close 40 gigawatts of coal capacity by 2016. A mix of low electricity demand, low natural gas prices, and environmental regulations are forcing coal plants out of the market.

However, the EIA projects in its Annual Energy Outlook 2014 that coal retirements will be much higher than what power companies are reporting. EIA predicts that around 60 GW of coal capacity will be shuttered by 2020, which would account for about one-fifth of the existing 310 GW of coal-fired capacity. But about 90% of those retirements would come before 2016 because new limits on mercury take effect in 2015 (with a possible one year extension allowed), which will require power plant operators to install equipment to limit emissions of mercury, acid gases, and toxic metals. This pollution control technology is too expensive in many cases, forcing operators to shut the plants down instead.

Related Article: Coal Industry in Structural Decline

Utilities have already shut down many coal plants in recent years. For example, in 2012 alone, 85 generating units accounting for 10.2 GW of power were closed. However, plants that closed in the past were much older, smaller, and less efficient. The average size of a coal plant that closed between 2010 and 2012 was only 97 megawatts. Over the next 10 years, the average size of closed plants will be about 145 megawatts. This merely demonstrates that as environmental regulations bite in the coming years, they will begin to cut more into the core of the nation’s coal fleet.

By Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play