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IEEFA Research

IEEFA Update: IEA, Still Behind the Curve, Nonetheless Indicates Rising Stranded-Asset Risk in Fossil-Fuel Holdings

A Not-So-Distant Future in Which Thermal-Fired Electricity Generation Declines Precipitously

The International Energy Agency, out with its annual energy-markets forecast, “World Energy Outlook 2016,” remains behind the curve but not as far behind as it was. A history of IEA underestimation of technology change has been partially remedied in this new report, but the agency’s solar and wind forecasts can at best be described still […]

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IEEFA Analysis: The Economic Frailties and Rickety Finances Behind the Dakota Access Pipeline

Shippers Are in a Position Now to Renegotiate Contracts; Oil Prices Have Tanked Since Deals Were Signed; Long-Term Outlook for Project is Deeply Uncertain

Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline has sparked considerable public controversy, bringing national attention to issues that include tribal sovereignty and risks to drinking water. Less publicized are the project’s financial weaknesses, and the fact the pipeline may represent a substantial overbuilding of the Bakken’s oil-transport infrastructure. The report that we released today in partnership […]

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IEEFA Report: Three Timely Takeaways on 2016 Global Energy Transformation

An Acceleration to Renewables, Faster-Than-Expected Shifts Regionally and Nationally, Growing Risk for Investors Who Lag Behind

Three notable takeaways emerge from the rapid transformation of the global energy economy, as we detail in a new paper we published today as the landmark Paris Agreement officially goes into effect. The global transition to renewables is accelerating. Change is happening faster than expected. Those left behind in this transition face growing financial risk. […]

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IEEFA Exxon: Telltale Crossover in Late 2014 Marks Where a Major Oil Stock Began to Go South

A Decoupling From the Larger Stock Market 2 Years Ago Portends a Future in Which the World’s Biggest Oil Company Will Be Smaller and Will Not Pay Out as Much in Shareholder Distributions

The world is moving in fits and starts but with gathering momentum toward a more diversified, low-carbon energy mix. The evidence is all around us. One exhibit, of many, is in the report we published this week—“Red Flags on Exxon: A Note to Institutional Investors”—which includes the chart here: ExxonMobil Financial Performance, 2006 – 2015 […]

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IEEFA Report: Red Flags on ExxonMobil: Core Financials Show a Company in Decline

Potentially Irreversible Slide; Falling Revenues, Rising Debt, Shrinking Capex, Weak Cash Balances Add to Growing Reputational Risk Tied to Climate-Change Controversy; ; Institutional Investors Owe Their Shareholders a Fiduciary Review

CLEVELAND, Oct. 26, 2016 (IEEFA.org) — The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) published a report today that indicates deep financial weaknesses at ExxonMobil (XOM) and suggests the company is in potentially irreversible decline. The report—“Red Flags on ExxonMobil (XOM)”—by IEEFA Director of Finance Tom Sanzillo, cites key metrics that include a 45 […]

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IEEFA Global: A $51 Billion Gap (and a $51 Billion Opportunity) in BRICS Nations’ Renewable Energy Development

How to Meet the Goal? Through "Blended Finance" Where Public Funds Unleash Private Money

Here, in one chart, is an IEEFA picture worth a thousand words. While some $130 billion was invested last year in renewable-energy development in the BRICS countries—Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—billions more are required if these countries are to meet their commitments to climate-change mitigation policies. The four countries, in all, have announced […]

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IEEFA Europe: Blueprint for a Lignite Phase-Out in Germany

Foundation-Based Approach to Closure and Clean-Up; New Czech Owners of Vattenfall Assets in Lausitz Can Afford to Foot the Bill; a Timeline That Helps Local Communities Prepare for Transition

The recent “sale” by the Swedish state-owned utility Vattenfall of its German lignite assets throws a harsh light on a dark paradox: the continued use of the world’s most carbon-intensive fuel by a country with some of the most ambitious targets to tackle climate change. The deal transfers a cluster of lignite mines and their […]

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IEEFA Texas: The Beginning of the End for Coal-Fired Electricity Across One of the Biggest Power Markets in the U.S.

Report Finds Seven Plants Emblematic of a Fading Industry

We published a research report today describing how the coal-fired electricity industry in Texas is in decline and unlikely to recover in the face of rising competition from other energy sources. Our report—“The Beginning of the End: Fundamental Changes in Energy Markets Are Undermining the Financial Viability of Coal-Fired Power Plants in Texas”—looks specifically at […]

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IEEFA Report: A Cynical Re-Regulation Strategy in West Virginia

FirstEnergy’s Machinations Around the Pleasants Power Station Are Designed to Shift Risk to Ratepayers

In seeking to get the West Virginia Public Service Commission to allow it to sell all or a portion of its Pleasants Power Station, Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp. is following a strategy of re-regulation that stands to benefit shareholders at ratepayer expense. The coal-fired 1,300-megawatt Pleasants plant is currently owned by a FirstEnergy deregulated subsidiary, Allegheny […]

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IEEFA Ohio: Damn Tradition, Bailouts Are Where It’s At

Update: FirstEnergy Piles Insult Onto Billions of Dollars in Injury by Threatening to Move Its Headquarters From Akron

Call me old-fashioned, but I’ve always thought investor-owned electric utilities were set up to provide power to consumers who paid for what they got.    In states where electricity is deregulated, utility companies compete for customers—just like any other business does. And in states where utilities are regulated, public-utility commissions determine how rates are set […]

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More News and Commentary

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The International Energy Agency, out with its annual energy-markets forecast, “World Energy Outlook 2016,” remains behind the curve but not as far behind as it was. A history of IEA underestimation of technology change has been partially remedied in this new report, but the agency’s solar and wind forecasts can at best be described still […]

Read More →

IEEFA Update: IEA, Still Behind the Curve, Nonetheless Indicates Rising Stranded-Asset Risk in Fossil-Fuel Holdings

A Not-So-Distant Future in Which Thermal-Fired Electricity Generation Declines Precipitously

The International Energy Agency, out with its annual energy-markets forecast, “World Energy Outlook 2016,” remains behind the curve but not as far behind as it was. A history of IEA underestimation of technology change has been partially remedied in this new report, but the agency’s solar and wind forecasts can at best be described still […]

Read More →

IEEFA Asia: Rosy Prospects in Indonesian Coal?

A Note of Caution on Assuming That Recent High Prices Are Sustainable

As the U.S. coal industry hopes for an unlikely revival on the back of U.S. political developments, the Indonesian coal sector is riding a surge in thermal coal prices. Confidence was high already, as evidenced by coal giants Bukit Asam and Adaro Energy joining a late-October U.S. capital market road show sponsored by the Indonesian […]

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IEEFA China: Why the Rally in Coal Prices Is Unsustainable

A Short-Term Surge Is at the Mercy of Long-Term Trends

While thermal coal export prices have doubled since the first of the year, IEEFA remains of the view that the price spike is due solely to the confluence of several short-term policy and weather factors in China and India. By far the more important trend to watch is what’s seen in the 10.7 percent year-on-year, […]

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In Bankruptcy Reorganization, U.S. Coal Giant Alpha Is Overstating Cash Flows by $100 Million, Regulators Say

Taylor Kuykendall for SNL: West Virginia regulators admonished Alpha Natural Resources Inc. for a five-year business projection that overstated “cash flows by a whopping $100 million.” The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection noted it would not challenge a settlement resolving the shortfall between Alpha and Contura Energy Inc., the entity formed from the bankruptcy […]

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North Dakota Oil Production Falls

Daniel J. Graeber for UPI: A regulator in North Dakota said low oil prices were in part behind the decline in crude oil production, last reported at its lowest level since early 2014. The North Dakota Industrial Commission reported crude oil production in September, the last full month for which it has data, at 971,658 […]

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Op-Ed: The Coal Industry Isn’t Coming Back

Michael E. Webber for the New York Times: Many in Appalachia and other coal-mining regions believe that President Obama’s supposed war on coal caused a steep decline in the industry’s fortunes. But coal’s struggles to compete are caused by cheap natural gas, cheap renewables, air-quality regulations that got their start in the George W. Bush […]

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On the Blogs: Across U.S., Bipartisan, Grass-Roots Support for Renewables

Dave Roberts for Vox: There are many things that divide Americans, but they are generally united on the benefits of making money. Even as the (small and shrinking) number of coal jobs gets endless media attention, renewable energy has scaled up to become a serious employer in the US. And it’s happening in places far […]

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‘Ironically,’ Dakota Access Pipeline Risks Defeat by Low Prices and Oil Infrastructure Glut

Chris White for the Daily Caller: The Dakota Access Pipeline is at risk of becoming an abandoned project due to historically low oil prices, according to a report published Wednesday by an energy research firm. The report, “The High-Risk Financing Behind the Dakota Access Pipeline: A Potential Stranded Asset in the Bakken Region of North […]

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IEEFA Analysis: The Economic Frailties and Rickety Finances Behind the Dakota Access Pipeline

Shippers Are in a Position Now to Renegotiate Contracts; Oil Prices Have Tanked Since Deals Were Signed; Long-Term Outlook for Project is Deeply Uncertain

Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline has sparked considerable public controversy, bringing national attention to issues that include tribal sovereignty and risks to drinking water. Less publicized are the project’s financial weaknesses, and the fact the pipeline may represent a substantial overbuilding of the Bakken’s oil-transport infrastructure. The report that we released today in partnership […]

Read More →