Archive: Markets

DEC 2018

Distributed Energy Is Disrupting the Power Industry: Is the Sky Falling?

Utilities are faced with many disruptive changes in the power market. Customers are demanding cleaner energy and turning to distributed generation as a solution. One expert suggested power companies must react and evolve their business models to change with the times. During a keynote presentation at the Distributed Energy Conference in Golden, Colorado, on October […]

Flower growing in a pile of bituminous Kentucky coal. Courtesy: Una Nowling

As DOE’s Coal Rescue Reportedly Dead-Ends, Stakeholders Recommend New Pathways

The White House may have shelved an effort to force grid operators to buy power from uneconomic coal and nuclear plants amid opposition inside the administration, Politico reported on October 15.  The publication reported “four people with knowledge of the discussions” have confirmed that opposition from the president’s own advisers on the National Security Council […]


Hydropower Bill Overwhelmingly Clears Senate, Heads to President’s Desk

The U.S. Senate has cleared a major water infrastructure bill that contains several provisions promoting hydropower development, sending it to the president’s desk. The Senate passed S. 3021, “America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018,” on October 10 through a bipartisan vote of 99–1. Because the House of Representatives unanimously passed the bill in a voice […]


DOE Sank Billions of Fossil Energy R&D Dollars in CCS Projects. Most Failed.

Nearly half of the $2.66 billion spent by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) since 2010 to develop advanced fossil energy technologies was dedicated to nine carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration projects—but only three were active at the end of 2017, and only one was at a power plant. In a report prepared for […]

Levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) map of U.S. counties (green = wind, purple = utility solar photovoltaic, red-orange = natural gas combined cycle). Source: LCOE, The UT Energy Institute:

Natural Gas and Wind Dominate U.S. LCOE Landscape, Interactive Map Shows

Natural gas combined cycle, wind, and residential solar photovoltaic technologies may be the least-expensive way to generate power across a wide swathe of the U.S., an interactive map published and recently updated by the University of Texas (UT) at Austin’s Energy Institute shows.  The interactive chart (Version 1.4.0, retrieved on October 4, 2018), first published […]

Nearly all utility-scale power plants in the U.S. that retired from 2008 through 2017 were fueled by coal, gas, and oil. The Energy Information Administration says that coal plants accounted for 47% of all retired plants since 2008, but it notes that most coal plants retired were “relatively old and small, averaging 52 years and 105 MW, compared with the fleet of coal plants still operating, at 39 years and 319 MW.” It adds: “Other influential factors include changes in regional electricity use, federal or state policies that affect plant operation, and state policies that require or encourage the use of certain fuels such as renewables.” Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-860M, Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory; POWER

How Did MATS Affect U.S. Coal Generation?

Industry aggressively fought the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) when the Obama administration proposed it in 2011 and finalized it in February 2012, warning it would precipitate the closure of a swathe of coal capacity nationwide. Six years later, the rule appears to have had a sizable impact on the power sector, but not […]


Flannery Takes Fall for GE Power Struggles

GE announced that H. Lawrence Culp Jr. has been named chairman and CEO of the company replacing John Flannery effective immediately. GE’s board of directors voted unanimously on the decision, and it also appointed Thomas W. Horton as lead director. In a press release, GE specifically cited weak performance in the GE Power business for […]

Bilfinger is benefitting from the shale gas boom in the USA. Courtesy: Bilfinger/Flickr

The Rise of Natural Gas Generation in Europe

Spurred by the shale gas revolution, natural gas’s stunning rise to dominate the U.S. power profile has been echoed by a number of countries, particularly in the Middle East. In Europe, where domestic natural gas production is actually in decline—and consensus is that shale gas won’t likely play a major role on the continent—natural gas […]

Figure 2_Ringhals_Vattenfall

Intense Summer Heatwaves Rattle World’s Power Plants

Scorching temperatures during the summer of 2018 forced a swathe of power plants across the world to reduce power or shut down temporarily, owing to warmer-than-usual temperatures of cooling water and other

Fig 1_Energy Imbalance Market map August 2018

How Does the Western Energy Imbalance Market Work?

The California Independent System Operator’s Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) is a real-time energy market, the first of its kind in the western U.S. EIM’s advanced market systems automatically find low-cost