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New Energy Economy #15: Death of Coal edition

Despite the Trump administration's attempts to prop up coal, the industry continues its long decline,

New Energy Economy

July 3 · Issue #15 · View online
Transformations in clean energy

Despite the Trump administration’s attempts to prop up coal, the industry continues its long decline, and stories of plant closings, bankruptcies, and lenders exiting the sector continue to climb. Coal use in the US has plummeted, in 2018 reaching its lowest level in 40 years. Worldwide production peaked in 2013 and has trended down since. And the average capacity factor (the percentage of time a plant is actually burning coal and producing power) continues to drop and is now around 50%–so even the remaining plants are using less coal, producing less power, and becoming less economically viable.
The decline was first fueled by cheap gas, and has been accelerated by the declining cost of renewables, which, unsubsidized, now undercut coal (and frequently gas) in many places. This newsletter could have been twice as long–the obits for coal plants, companies, and funding are everywhere. Coal is an entrenched industry with disproportionate political influence, but its inexorable fate is becoming increasingly clear, and the speed at which it’s occurring continues to increase.

America's renewable energy capacity is now greater than coal
Solar vs. Coal: Why the "74 Percent Report" Signals a New Era for US Energy
Chubb becomes first U.S. insurer to put limits on its coal sector exposure
Germany’s KfW Bank rules out financing of any coal operations
The Future of Coal: why capital is deserting coal
Chile to shut down 8 coal-fired power plants by 2024
The Billion-Dollar Coal Bailout Nobody Is Talking About: Self-Committing In Power Markets
How much credit can Beyond Coal claim for plant closures?
Wyoming coal giant Cloud Peak files for bankruptcy
Trump's coal export bid runs into headwinds next year, say feds
DTE Energy speeds up closing of coal-fired plants
UK Energy Supplier SSE To Close Its Last Coal-Fired Power Plant
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