Coal / Energy

8 things the DOE report said that the U.S. coal industry wishes it hadn’t

Markets have changed, technology has evolved, competiton is stiff, the grid evolves …

CLEVELAND — “When the coal industry and its allies persuaded Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry to commission a study on whether a long wave of coal-fired power plant retirements  hurt the reliability of America’s electricity grid, the answer they were hoping for was clear: that U.S. needs more coal plants.

But the conclusion that came back last week was something else. The DOE study (‘Staff Report to the Secretary on Electricity Markets and Reliability’),  does not  justify public policies aimed at reviving the coal industry.

While the coal industry is spinning the report as just what the doctor ordered, that’s not what it is.

The report concludes that the grid is performing just fine, even after more than 500 coal-fired plants have been taken off-line since 2002 and even though news of another shutdown occurs day in and day out. To put a numerical prism on it, the 531 coal-fired electricity-generation plants that were closed from 2002 through 2016 represented 59,000 megawatts of generation capacity, or 11 percent of available generating capacity. Grid stability did not suffer.”

— Tom Sanzillo, Institute for Energy Economics & Financial Analysis

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