Category Archives for Utilities
While coal has lost market share in the U.S. due to a mix of low gas prices and extreme, anti-coal regulation, Rob Nikolewski’s recent Watchdog.org article shows how coal use is growing rapidly around the world.
“Coal remained the fastest-growing fossil fuel in 2013 in both absolute and relative terms, accounting for approximately 30 percent of global primary energy consumption, second only to oil,” said an IEA report on coal markets, released in December.
Another IEA report, published in May, tracking the progress of clean energy showed low-priced coal was the fastest-growing fossil fuel in 2013 and that coal production worldwide outpaced the growth of oil and gas in 2012.
Thanks to America’s Power for putting together this video showing the differences in spending priorities between America’s elected officials and average Americans.
This kind of situation always reminds me of the “Jelly Donut” scene in the movie Full Metal Jacket. The scene shows how a lack of thought and self-control (one recruit stealing a jelly donut from the mess hall) leads to damaging outcomes for an entire platoon of marine recruits. In the same way, short-sighted and destructive energy policies coming from a small group of self-focused ideologues in DC and various state capitals are having profound negative effects on American taxpayers and electricity users (read: the rest of the country).
Interesting article on the Utility Dive website that discusses the likelihood of Elon Musk’s stationary storage tech disrupting utility generators.
The short version of the article’s primary argument is that most people won’t have the space or finances to power a home solely on solar panels and Tesla’s batteries. It is much easier and far less expensive to use the existing transmission and utility network to act as the battery.
A recent report by Management Information Services takes a look at the massive, statewide impacts of TVA’s planned closure of almost 3,900 MW of coal-fueled generation and expectations for further closures in the near future. The broad, widespread economic and social impacts on Tennessee’s people, their economy, industry, and productivity are frightening.
A short read of the report’s findings are that, as TVA drops coal from its generation fleet, the people of Tennessee will pay dearly.
- 20% higher electricity rates
- $7 billion reduction in gross state product
- $700 million in lost state and local government tax revenues
Interesting discussion on FOX Business channel. Tom Borelli and John Pippy, CEO of the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance discuss the “fundamental transformation” of American energy production.
I was recently interviewed by CNS News and asked for comment on the joint Sierra Club, Bloomberg media event (held on April 8th). In this event former NY mayor Michael Bloomberg and senior Sierra Club staffers, like CEO Michael Brune, exulted in their ability to pour tens of millions of dollars into misleading pressure campaigns, aimed at putting coal industry workers into unemployment lines. The gist of their recently expanded campaign is to spend Mr. Bloomberg’s $80 million, along with tens of millions of matching donations, “to shutter 50 percent of (coal) plants by 2017.”
Reading EENews.net’s January 26, 2015 interview with the CEO of the American Wind Energy Association is an eye-opener.
Despite repeated assurances that the U.S. wind industry is “vibrant” and competitive, Tom Kiernan flatly admits that without further extensions of decades worth of government subsidies, the wind industry still could not compete. In fact the industry would (in his words) “fall off a cliff” if the PTC were discontinued.
Good comments from Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) on pending EPA regulations.
“We should try to achieve an EPA policy as it relates to Pennsylvania as well as other states that doesn’t put that kind of burden on ratepayers.”
The West Virginia Coal Association described its comments on the EPA’s so-called Clean Power Plan today. Among the comments, was the following warning about how the CPP will necessarily impact the affordability and reliability of our nation’s electricity generation system.
“President Obama is mandating a move away from low cost, coal-fired electricity to more expensive alternatives for an initiative that will have little to no impact on global climate change,” Raney said. “When you take into account that more than 400 electric generating units across the country are slated for closure or transition to alternative fuels in the coming years, these rules also severely threaten the stability of America’s power grid.”