Coal, Combined Cycle, Gas, New Projects, Nuclear, Policy & Regulations

Report: Natural gas prices to slow nuclear development; 60 GW of coal to close

The U.S. is expected to retire up to 60 GW of coal-fired capacity by 2020, according to the latest report from Black & Veatch.

The report, Energy Market Perspectives: 2014 Energy Market Outlook, shows that most of those retirements are expected in the Eastern U.S. The report also says that the economy and natural gas prices will slow the development of new nuclear power projects over the next 25 years, coupled with continued deferrals and cancellations of new units and more uprate projects.

Natural gas-fueled generation is expected to grow 3.1 percent each year, with more than 348,000 MW of new capacity expected online before 2038 thanks to the coal retirements and a projected decline in regional reserve margins. Combined cycle generation and capacity is expected to more than double in the U.S. between 2014 and 2038.

By 2038, 100 GW of renewable capacity is expected to be online, the report said.

Even with the expected retirements, coal will continue to be a significant source in the U.S. power generation mix. The report said there will continue to be economic challenges for smaller nuclear power plants, and reliability and environmental and economic regulation will be the top issues in the future.

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