Utility trends

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 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 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 […]

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Coal Won’t Solve the Energy Poverty Problem

Times Have Changed; Old Electricity-Generation Models Don’t Work Anymore

Coal-fired electricity is no longer the economy builder its proponents say it is. Time was when coal in fact did contribute to growth in many economies, but times have changed. Today governments and private interests worldwide concede—even emphasize—the economic and environmental dysfunction of coal. We’ve just published an IEEFA Briefing Note (“Energy Poverty, Then and […]

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India’s Electricity-Sector Transformation

New IEEFA report- India’s energy transformation gathers momentum

10 August, 2015: India’s ‘seven horses of energy’ electricity sector transformation is gathering pace, with far-reaching ramifications for renewable energy development and the structural decline of seaborne thermal coal, according to a new report released today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and Indian energy analysis firm, Equitorials. The report – […]

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Study Concludes That Colstrip 1 and 2 Are Financially Unviable; Cautions Against Further Expenditures

In an Era of Low Natural-Gas Prices and Competition From Renewable Energy, Phasing Out Two Coal-Fired Units Is the Best Option for Owners

JUNE 23, 2015 (IEEFA) — An analysis of data on operational costs and energy markets by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis questions the financial viability of the two oldest units at the Colstrip coal-fired power plant in eastern Montana. Colstrip Units 1 and 2, which are owned equally by Talen Montana and Puget Sound […]

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Comments on Proposed Consolidated Federal Oil and Gas and Federal and Indian Coal Valuation Reform, ONRR-2012-0004-0024

COAL SOLD FOR EXPORT SHOULD NOT BE EXEMPT FROM FEDERAL ROYALTY PAYMENTS

Comments on Proposed Consolidated Federal Oil and Gas and Federal and Indian Coal Valuation Reform, ONRR-2012-0004-0024 By Tom Sanzillo, Director of Finance, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis

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IEEFA Study: Corporate Restructuring at Adani Enterprises Enhances Shareholder Value; Marginalizes Australian Coal Project; Better Aligns Adani Group With Transformation of India’s Electricity Sector

Proposed Development of Galilee Basin Project Will Become ‘Collateral Damage’

CLEVELAND, May 5, 2015 (IEEFA.org) — A report published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) concludes that Adani Enterprises’ recent corporate restructuring better aligns its parent Adani Group with minority shareholders and with new opportunities emerging in the Indian electricity sector transformation. It concludes also that the restructuring—which vastly reduces […]

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More News and Commentary

New York Town’s Post-Coal Transition Seen as Model for Colstrip, Montana

Eric Tegethoff for Public News Service Montana: Although the fate of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan is up in the air now that Donald Trump has been elected president, at least part of Colstrip’s coal-fired power plant is still likely to close by 2022. Peter DeJesus, field coordinator for Western New York Area […]

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On the Blogs: Trump Runs Risk of Suffering LBJ-Like ‘Credibility Gap’ on Energy Markets

John H. Cushman Jr. for InsideClimate News: Judging by the brief discussion of energy policy on Donald Trump’s White House transition website, what he’d like to change about the Obama approach is everything. Presented below are our expectations for Trump’s Top Ten list—along with some evidence about how complicated it might be to achieve these […]

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Trump’s ‘Nearly Impossible’ Promise to Revive Coal

Rebecca Smith for the Wall Street Journal: Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to resurrect the ailing U.S. coal industry and put miners back to work. Delivering on that vow could prove nearly impossible. Electric utilities that buy more than 95% of the coal mined in America have already retired hundreds of their coal-burning power […]

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On the Blogs: Too Late to Stop Transition to Renewables

Carolyn Hayman for PreventableSurprises.com: As we’ve begun to focus on the demand side of the fossil fuel market, particularly power utilities, it’s clear that technology is going to trump Trump. Domestic photovoltaics plus storage are likely to be cost competitive with fossil fuel generation within a small number of years, and attempts to hold back […]

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IEEFA Update: The Global Energy Transformation Remains on Track

U.S. Presidential Election Results Regardless, the Gathering Transition to Renewables Continues

Regardless of any potential or even likely shift in U.S. energy policies, the transition of global energy markets is firmly entrenched. A succession of financial and technology breakthroughs position renewable energy and efficiency as clearly price competitive in an increasing number of energy markets  Policy action, with the ratification of the Paris climate accord, reflects […]

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On the Blogs: A Faster-Than-Expected 21st-Century Transition to Renewables

Leah Y. Parks for TriplePundit.com: A 21st-century energy transformation is already underway. Our digital revolution is facilitating massive progress in technologies that are leading to disruption and will result in the replacement of the fossil fuel industry faster than most could imagine. We can jump over political resistance and climate denial despite outdated and misinformed […]

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IEEFA Update: FirstEnergy, on Thin Ice, Walks Away From a Half Million Ohio Households in Hopes of Saving Itself

A Break with the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council Is the Latest Sign, Among Many, That a Poorly Run Utility Is on the Ropes

FirstEnergy’s financial tailspin took a spectacular turn late last month when the company abruptly cancelled the three remaining years of a nine-year contract to supply electricity to the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC), a group that provides power to 500,000 customers. What’s happening here in Ohio, in brief, is that FirstEnergy’s bad business decisions […]

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Drop in Solar Costs Drives Uptake in U.S.

Thomas Content for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Solar power appears to be on the verge of something big. Records are being set at the national and local levels when it comes to adding solar panels, and new technology announcements have folks turning their heads about turning to the sun to power their homes. Buoyed by […]

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FirstEnergy Declares Emission-Control Trends a Force Majeure as It Works to Drop Coal Shipping and Supply Commitments

Taylor Kuykendall for SNL Beta: FirstEnergy Corp. disclosed in a Nov. 4 securities filing that it is fighting a legal battle to declare mercury emissions limits imposed by the U.S. EPA a force majeure event justifying termination of coal transportation and supply contracts. FirstEnergy reported the first dispute arises from a contract for the transportation […]

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IEEFA Europe: As Global Climate Pact Takes Force of Law, a Bleak Outlook for Coal-Fired Power

Paris Agreement Has Made Recovery of the Traditional Electric Generation Sources Unlikeley

What happened in Morocco last week underlines the extreme and now persistent risks to the economics of coal-fired power plants across Europe and further afield, raising the prospect of further write-downs by utilities. Some 191 countries signed the Paris Agreement in December, but a certain threshold had to ratify before it entered into force. That […]

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