Friday, November 16, 2012

Report: 59 GW generation capacity coal-fired plants should retire; Could open door for renewable energy

Friday, November 16, 2012
The comprehensive report is one of the ten States with the most coal-fired generation plants, which should be taken into account for the final: Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, Michigan, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Indiana, Mississippi and Virginia. (see graph below).

The report also shows that southern company, one of the largest private utilities in the country, followed by the State of Tennessee Valley Authority, Duke Energy, American Electric fired the most coal power and FirstEnergy owns generating plants for your retirement.

To determine the economic competitiveness of a coal plant, the UCS compared to coal-fired generation after the installation of a plant of modern pollution controls costs with the costs of the generation of a new natural gas-fired plant. If the cost of the coal plant was greater, it appeared ready to retire. Many in the report identi­fied ripe for retirement generators are more expensive than wind power with or without the extension of the production tax credit (PTC). The UCS considers even a modest price for CO2 emissions for the analysis.

See below diagram and description.

UCS analysis reveals that low natural gas prices and a price for CO2 have to expand the largest influence in the pool of the coal-fired generators as ripe for retirement and extend the federal tax credits for wind power is also important. Alternative scenarios could affect search three external factors, the coal-fired generating capacity as ripe for retirement. In the core analysis (far left) compares the low estimate (dark blue alone) the operating costs of coal generators with the operating costs of a new plant of NGCC; the high estimate (combined dark blue and light blue) compares the costs of coal generators systems with the operating costs of existing NGCC. The Middle three bars repeat the analysis for hypothetical scenarios in which natural gas prices could be lower 25 percent or 25 percent, or where could set a price of $15 / tonne on CO2 emissions. For the wind energy scenario (far right), the analysis shows that expires the capacity of coal-fired generators as ripe for retirement, when federal tax credits for wind power are permitted (dark green) or extended (dark green and light green combined).

"Our analysis shows that switching to cleaner energy sources and energy efficiency investments often more economical than billions to obsolete coal-fired plants, the life extend," said Steve Frenkel, co-author and Director of the UCS of the Midwest offices reports. "Regulators should more utilities to check carefully, whether the taxpayer through old coal-fired plants in the retirement and the promotion of electricity produced from natural gas and renewable energy sources such as wind would be better. "Issuance of billions of old coal-fired plants can easily upgrade be throwing good money after bad."

According to the UCS possible, this uncompetitive generators in the retirement presents a historic opportunity, a transition to a clean energy economy to accelerate the protection of public health, CO2 emissions and diversification the electricity mix.

View the original article here

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