Coal, Emissions, Gas

EIA: U.S. coal-fired generation may have lost 120 GW by 2025

The retirement of coal-fired power plants by U.S. utilities is pushing onward as the sector deals with economic and environment pressures.

A new report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that coal-fired plant owners closed more than 13 GW of capacity. This was the second highest annual total for coal-fired retirements, with the highest being 15 GW in 2015.

U.S. power companies have announced the retirement of close to 550 coal-fired units since 2010, according to the EIA. This totals close to 102 GW of generating capacity.  Some utilities, such as Oklahoma Gas & Electric and others, are converting their coal-fired plants to burn cheaper natural gas.

The pace of retirements has declined since that 2015 high (or low point considering the viewpoint on the value of coal-fired generation). The Trump Administration and even federal regulators have expressed alarm at the pace of coal-fired retirements, noting concerns about a depletion of fuel diversity, on-site fuel security and baseload capacity.

Click here to read more of the EIA report.

Coal-fired plants still provide close to 27 percent of the U.S. electricity mix, second only to natural gas. And many nations around the world continued to add coal-fired capacity.

The Future of Coal-Fired Generation is one of the Summit content tracks being offered at POWERGEN International happening Nov. 19-21 in New Orleans.