Earth Day 2021 brings with it at least the promise of better efforts at controlling the factors of climate change, especially generation and sequester of CO2. There’s plenty of good news to report too, for instance the absolute decline in the number of coal burning power plants in the US. The DoE or Dept. of Energy says we’re at a 42 year low in coal fired generation and that’s good. Better would be finally eliminating coal plants and replacing them with geothermal.
It’s important to understand that the coal plants being retired now are of the 50 Megawatt vintage and those being built are as big as 3 Gigawatts, much bigger. So the metric to watch is generating capacity and it’s going down though it’s best if we never build them than commission them because they can have a 30-year life or more.