“Wind power economics are driving coal generation up the dispatch curve and into earlier retirement.”

– Moody’s analyst Jairo Chung in an investment note on the effects of low-cost wind in the Great Plains states, where an average contract price of around $20 per megawatt-hour is outcompeting operating costs for coal-fired power that average higher than $30/MWh.

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“No one’s looking for new coal reserves. The decline in coal demand has meant existing reserves will last a lot longer.’’

– Robert Godby, a professor of energy economics at the University of Wyoming, commenting on how the Trump administration’s rollback of a moratorium on federal coal leases may actually do little to help the coal industry recover.

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Wind remakes Canada’s Prince Edward Island

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Canada’s Prince Edward Island, the nation’s smallest province, has remade its energy infrastructure in one short decade. The province lacks viable hydroelectric and with the exception of wind has few nonrenewable natural resources, and up until a decade...
“Politics has nothing to do with it for me. Clean energy just makes good economic sense. By establishing a 100 percent renewable energy goal, we have an opportunity to use solar power that we can control in our community, for our community.”

– Abita Springs, Louisiana Mayor Greg Lemons in a statement on the town council approving a resolution to transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, the first municipality in the state to do so.

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“We’re doing it primarily because it’s the cheapest energy resource we can buy now, even lower than our coal generation.”

– Xcel Energy spokesman Wes Reeves, explaining the utility’s decision to invest $1.6 billion to build two large wind farms in eastern New Mexico and West Texas over the next three years, which will lower costs and save customers in those states about $2.8 billion over the next three decades.

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“This would save us money, and that will eventually hit our ratepayers’ pocketbooks in a good way.”

– Hannibal, Missouri public works manager Robert Stevenson on the city’s approval of a contract to meet up to 20 percent of its annual electricity needs with wind energy, saving the city $720,000 a year in energy costs. The deal is predicated on the completion of the Grain Belt transmission line, which would carry wind from Kansas eastward.

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“My client, Talen Montana, is losing about $30 million a year — that’s an average. We’re trying to find every possible tool to change the economics and continue to operate for five years.”

– Lobbyist Jon Metropoulos on the dire economics sinking the operator of the Colstrip coal-burning power plant in Montana, and legislative efforts to provide assistance to keep it open longer.

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“It sounds really bold to say, but what we’re trying to do is to rebuild the Appalachian economy from the ground up. … We don’t get into the moral argument of coal being good or bad, we just talk about jobs and entrepreneurship.”

– Brandon Dennison, co-founder and CEO of Coalfield Development Corp, a nonprofit that offers out-of-work coal miners a chance to learn new skills, including solar installation.

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The “comparative economics for coal, renewables and gas place clean coal firmly at the bottom of the stack in the U.S.”

– From a series of Citigroup reports to investors earlier this year in which the bank said it expects coal plant retirements of about 5 gigawatts in 2017 – enough to power roughly 3.4 million homes for a year.

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“With these blessings, Oklahoma can power Oklahoma and doesn’t need to go to Wyoming, hat in hand, asking to buy some energy. We’re pleased to see these in-state resources growing to affordably and cleanly serve the power needs of this state.”

– Jeff Clark, executive director of The Wind Coalition, in a NewsOK story about wind generation edging out imported Wyoming coal as a source of electricity in the state for the first time last year.

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“You will not be forgotten. The sacrifice and the danger, the songs and the tradition. They won’t be lost. You really did keep the lights on. We love you for it. But the jobs, and the future of coal mining, are a vanishing thing. Please, for your own sake and that of your nation, do the hardest thing ever—anything else.”

– from An open letter to America’s coal miners, and to America by former coal miner and mining executive Mark Sumner

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“There were nearly 700,000 [coal] miners … in 1919. There were 450,000 when World War II began. There were fewer than 200,000 when Eisenhower took office. By 2000, that number was down to about 70,000. And it keeps falling. Coal will never again be the industry your fathers knew, or that you knew in your youth.”

– from An open letter to America’s coal miners, and to America by former coal miner and mining executive Mark Sumner

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“Forget the songs. Ignore the banners. You don’t sell coal to ‘America.’ You sell it to Duke Energy, and Southern Company, and NRG and a few dozen others. That’s who buys coal. Only they’re buying less. And they’re going to keep buying less, until they’re buying none at all. Donald Trump isn’t going to change that.”

– from An open letter to America’s coal miners, and to America by former coal miner and mining executive Mark Sumner

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