U.S. Coal Exports Boom Amid Weakening Domestic Market: EIA

Strong international demand, particularly in Asia, has provided relief for U.S. coal producers reeling from the effects of the shale revolution, which has led to national coal consumption declining every year since 2008, according to the Energy Information Administration. The agency reports that U.S. coal exports reached 116 million short tons (MMst) in 2018, the highest level…

Natural Gas Dethrones Coal in Nation’s Largest Wholesale Electricity Market

Natural gas accounted for nearly 31 percent of power generation in PJM Interconnection LLC’s footprint in 2018, surpassing coal’s share of about 29 percent, according to a March 18 report from the grid operator’s market monitor. Nuclear power dominated the region’s generating sector representing about 34 percent of the generation mix last year. Renewables had…...

U.S. Added Over 31 Gigawatts of Electric Generating Capacity in 2018, Largest in 15 Years: EIA

The U.S. added 31.3 gigawatts of generating capacity in 2018, the largest since the 2003 capacity addition of 48.8 gigawatts, according to a March 11 report from the Energy Information Administration. Natural gas accounted for 62 percent of utility-scale additions, while wind and solar photovoltaic represented 21 percent and 16 percent, respectively. Coal accounted for…...

TVA Votes to Close Two Aging Coal Power Plants Due to Unfavorable Economics

The Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors on Feb. 14 approved the retirement of Paradise Unit 3 by 2020 and the Bull Run Fossil Plant by 2023, in order to better balance its generation system with changing demands. The vote reflects TVA’s commitment to replace less-efficient coal-fired plants with cleaner resources, despite President Donald Trump’s…...

U.S. Energy Department Announces $38 Million to Modernize Existing Coal Fleet

The U.S. Energy Department announced funding for cost-shared research and development projects aimed to develop advanced technologies that enhance the performance, reliability, and flexibility of existing coal power plants, according to a Jan. 23 press release. The research effort is intended to lower emissions and foster new technologies that benefit the grid. Projects will support…...

Montana State Lawmaker Proposes Bill Allowing State to Buy Troubled Coal Plant

Montana House lawmaker Rodney Garcia, a Republican, introduced legislation on Jan. 15 that would allow the state to sell bonds for up to $500 million to purchase coal-fired generation facilities whose acquisition would be in the public interest. The bill aims at saving the Colstrip plant, which is facing a bleak future as climate change…...

U.S. Coal Production to Hit 40-Year Low as Exports, Consumption Plummet: EIA

U.S. coal production is projected to decline by 3 percent to about 729 million short tons in 2019 compared to 2018, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s short-term outlook released on Jan. 15. The agency forecasts 2020 production to reach 680 million tons, the first time that annual production will fall below 700 million…

Montana State Lawmaker Proposes Bill to Establish Carbon Tax

Montana House Lawmaker Mary Dunwell, a Democrat, introduced legislation on Jan. 14 that would impose a carbon tax of $10 per metric ton on large emissions sources from 2020, increasing annually by $1, plus the rate of inflation. The bill would set an emissions reduction goal of 25 percent by 2035, and 50 percent by…...

U.S. Energy Department Unveils ‘Coal FIRST’ Initiative to Bolster Ailing Industry

The U.S. Energy Department is planning to fund competitive research and development of innovative coal generation technologies in the 2019 fiscal year, according to a Nov. 14 announcement. The agency envisions coal plants of the future to be “Flexible, Innovative, Resilient, Small and Transformative” under the new “Coal FIRST” initiative. The move stems from request…

Policy Choices Will Shape Future of Global Energy Sector: IEA’s World Energy Outlook

Under current and planned policies, global energy demand is expected to grow by over 25 percent to 2040, requiring an annual investment of more than $2 trillion in new energy supply, according to the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook published on Nov. 13. The agency said that over 70 percent of global energy investments…

Trump Nominates McNamee to FERC as Agency Examines Crucial Issues of Pipeline Policy, Resiliency

President Donald Trump nominated Bernard L. McNamee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the term ending June 30, 2020, to fill the vacancy resulting from Commissioner Robert Powelson’s resignation in August, according to an Oct. 9 release from the agency. McNamee currently serves as the Executive Director of the U.S. Energy Department’s Office of…