Trying to keep aging coal and nuclear plants operating “may end up raising rather than lowering the average cost of wholesale electricity for many customers.”
– from a leaked draft of a politically motivated analysis commissioned by Energy Secretary Rick Perry that was supposed to question whether renewable energy policies or regulations have harmed grid reliability and accelerated the retirement of coal and nuclear plants, but which actually showed the opposite to be true.
“Because of the low natural gas prices and expanded renewable generating capacity, wholesale electric market prices over recent years have frequently been too low to merit economic dispatch of coal generating capacity.”
– From the 20-year integrated resource plan filed by Boise, Idaho-based Idaho Power with the state’s Public Utilities Commission. The utility’s plans include retiring its shares in at least three coal-burning power plants throughout the West.
“I don’t see any problems with reliability, and I say bring on more renewables.”
– Colette Honorable, a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, speaking at a conference sponsored by the federal Energy Information Administration.
“Coal’s competitive advantage is fast evaporating. It cannot compete with renewables on cost, and storage and smart management of the grid have made the need for new baseload redundant. Coal is yesterday’s technology – the only thing new coal has going for it is inertia.”
– Kobad Bhavnagri, the lead author of Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s New Energy Outlook 2017 in Asia-Pacific report.
“The whole utility paradigm has shifted. We really are doing our ratepayers a disservice by not considering all viable options.”
– Reiko Kerr, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s senior assistant general manager of power systems, regarding a decision by the utility to put a hold on a $2.2 billion plan to rebuild several old natural gas power plants while it studies clean energy alternatives.
“The cost declines that we are seeing with these technologies are so steep that it becomes a matter of time as to when they start crossing over and becoming competitive in different ways. These things are getting cheaper faster than we thought even a year ago.”
– Seb Henbest, lead author of Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s latest annual New Energy Outlook report, discussing the predicted dominance of solar, renewables and lithium-ion batteries in the global energy mix by 2040.
“I’ve not spoken to a single utility that’s truly holding on to a future of more coal.”
– Brian Janous, who directs energy strategy at Microsoft, quoted in a story about the effect that Fortune 500 companies are having on the electricity sector as they commit to running their businesses on 100 percent renewable energy and pressure utilities to provide them the sources to do so.
“When [coal-fired power plants] are only running at 50 percent, the math just doesn’t pencil out. The business plans that justified them no longer exist, so they are just not profitable in current conditions.”
– Rob Godby, director of the Center for Energy Economics and Public Policy at the University of Wyoming, explaining how coal is being forced out of energy markets across the country, especially in the East, where cheaper energy like wind and hydro, always sell first on the open market.
“Even though we are in the foothills of coal country, it was not outrageous for us to look at energy efficiency and renewable energy as one of the pathways to helping this community transform.”
– Bobby Clark of Midwest Clean Energy Enterprise.Clark, on efforts to rebuild West Liberty, Kentucky with a master plan based on green buildings and renewable energy after much of it was destroyed by a tornado in 2012.