IEEFA Research

IEEFA Kentucky: Owensboro Coal-Fired Power Plant Is No Longer Viable

Increasingly Expensive to Operate and a Drain on Ratepayers 

We’ve published a memorandum today explaining why the aging coal-fired Elmer Smith power plant in Owensboro, Ky., must be retired soon and how Owensboro Municipal Utilities would do well to invest in renewable electricity generation instead. Our memorandum describes how the plant—whose two units date from 1964 and 1974—has become increasingly uneconomic to operate and […]

Read More →

Cost of Coal From Mine-Mouth Prairie State Plant Isn’t the Bargain That Was Promised

Cost of Coal From Mine-Mouth Prairie State Plant Isnt the Bargain That Was Promised By Tom Sanzillo, Director of Finance, IEEFA

Read More →

2014 – Another Year of Unmet Promises for the Prairie State Energy Campus

2014 – Another Year of Unmet Promises for the Prairie State Energy Campus (pdf) By David Schlissel, Director of Resource Planning Analysis, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis

Read More →

Global Energy Markets Transition Drives Thermal Coal Into Structural Decline

New Research by IEEFA Sees Slowing Demand for Coal and Rapidly Rising Investment in Renewables CLEVELAND, Jan. 14, 2015 ( — Rapid expansion of renewable energy combined with weakening electricity demand are driving a structural decline in seaborne thermal coal markets, according to a new briefing released today by the Institute for Energy Economics and […]

Read More →

Memo: Analysis of Paducah Power System’s Recent and Future Cost of Power from the Prairie State Energy Campus

Memo: Analysis of Paducah Power System’s Recent and Future Costs of Power from the Prairie State Energy Campus By David Schlissel, IEEFA Director of Resource Planning Analysis

Read More →

Report: No evidence of a turnaround at Prairie State

No Evidence of a Turnaround at Prairie State (pdf) By David Schlissel, Director of Resource Planning Analysis

Read More →

Report- The Prairie State Coal Plant: The Reality vs. the Promise

Report- The Prairie State Coal Plant: The Reality vs. the Promise (pdf).

Read More →

More News and Commentary

Editorial: Kentuckians Can Handle the Truth

From the Lexington Herald Leader: Give Gov. Matt Bevin’s environmental secretary credit. When asked about the prospects for Eastern Kentucky’s coal industry, he was honest — unlike all the misleading political ads and mailings that are bombarding Kentuckians. What Secretary Charles Snavely said was important, but how he prefaced it is even more enlightening in […]

Read More →

A Call From West Virginia to Get Past the ‘War’ Rhetoric and Develop a Post-Coal Economy

Karen Kidd for the West Virginia Record: A West Virginia University law professor hopes members of a U.S. Senate subcommittee who heard his testimony earlier this month will stop talking about the so-called “War on Coal” and concentrate instead on West Virginia’s economic good. James Van Nostrand, a WVU College of Law professor and director […]

Read More →

Letter to the Editor: ‘Just Transition’

From the Baltimore Sun: Simple fairness demands that the nation address the economic plight of coal country with a focus on mining families. Miners risk their lives and health every time they go underground. The product of their work has powered our nation for generations. As we transition away from coal as a power source, […]

Read More →

IEEFA Update: Many Hurdles Facing U.S. Coal-Fired Power Fleet

Old Age, the Rise of Renewables, Competition From Natural Gas, Advances in Technology

Why has U.S. coal production declined so enormously in recent years? Because the coal-fired power industry is producing less of the country’s electricity than ever. As recently as 10 years ago, coal-fired power plants provided half of U.S. power needs. Today that number is closer to 30 percent—and falling. Coal is not likely to fade […]

Read More →

Arch Coal, 2nd-Biggest U.S. Producer, Emerges From Bankruptcy as ‘Lean, Mean, Fighting Machine’

Sarah Chaney for the Wall Street Journal: Arch Coal Inc. emerged from bankruptcy Wednesday after winning court approval on a turnaround plan that clears nearly $5 billion in debt from the coal producer’s books. Chief Executive John W. Eaves said Wednesday that the restructuring has repositioned Arch to succeed in a recovering energy market. “We […]

Read More →

U.S. Industry Exec: Election Outcome Won’t Affect Decline of Coal

Curtis Tate for McClatchy: Coal use has declined in Kentucky and other states and isn’t coming back “no matter who is elected in November,” a power industry executive told a gathering of energy officials last month. In a presentation to the Kentucky Governor’s Conference on Energy and the Environment in Lexington in late September, Greg […]

Read More →

Op-Ed: Kentucky in Transition

Letha Tawny for the Louisville Courier Journal: The Bluegrass State has long prided itself on producing affordable, reliable power from coal. Cheap and reliable power is part of why so many companies choose to make Kentucky home. But as the energy landscape changes, companies want power to be more than cheap and consistent – they […]

Read More →

Survey Finds Most Residents of Coal Country Favor Diversifying Their Economies

Scott Finn for West Virginia Public Radio: The survey was done by Public Opinion Strategies, a firm that’s worked for a lot of Republicans, including Sen. Shelley Capito. The survey of residents of several eastern coal-producing states, including West Virginia, asked what “elected officials and decision-makers in your state should prioritize?” Assisting rural, coal-mining areas […]

Read More →

Strong Public Support for RECLAIM Act in Eastern Kentucky

Bill Estep for the Louisville (Ky.) Herald-Leader: There is strong support among voters of all stripes for a proposal that would provide $1 billion for mine reclamation projects in Eastern Kentucky and other areas hurt by a slump in coal jobs, according to a seven-state poll released Monday. The poll found that 89 percent of […]

Read More →

IEEFA Update (Corrected): Wind in the Wires, and More on the Way

30 States Have Projects Under Construction or in Advanced Development

Wind power is a rapidly growing source of electricity in the U.S., doubling its share of generation in just five years, to 4.9 percent in 2015. The declining cost of wind power, along with cheap natural gas, has put tremendous financial pressure on both coal-fired and nuclear power plants, and is changing the mix of fuels […]

Read More →