Thu 20 Feb 2014
I have a saying. If you can’t make it work under capitalism and socialism is already leaving you voluntarily then you are pretty much done for this world. It looks like coals time has come and gone and it is the same with nuclear power too. Thank the gods that be. Now the question is, is it too late? We are walking a tight rope on that one. If we can come up with some remediations we just might pull out of this very steep climate dive. It is going to be close.
Flurry of Coal Power Plant Shutdowns Expected by 2016
A flurry of coal-fired power plants — major sources of climate change-fueling carbon dioxide emissions — could be closed by 2016, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts.
New emissions regulations and low natural gas prices, partly because of the fracking boom throughout the U.S., are leading utilities to shut down coal-fired power plants and open new ones that burn natural gas. With new Environmental Protection Agency emissions standards limiting mercury, acid gases and toxic metals from coal-fired power plants taking effect in 2015, there is even more impetus for utilities to retire older coal plants, according to the EIA.
Because of those new standards, the EIA forecasts that 90 percent of the power plants expected to shut down by 2020 will actually be shut down by 2016. Those new standards include coal-fired power plants likely having to install flue gas desulfurization equipment, or “scrubbers,” which cost hundreds of millions of dollars each, depending on the size of the plant.
Utilities may decide to shutter a coal-fired power plant if coal prices, wholesale electricity prices and the costs of installing scrubbers do not make economic sense, according to the EIA.
Coal-fired power plants are feeling the heat about carbon emissions, too. Concern about coal plants’ carbon emission contributing to climate change are driving the EPA to write new carbon emissions rules unrelated to the new mercury standards. The EPA has proposed new regulations aiming to curb carbon emissions from future coal-fired power plants and is in the process of proposing similar regulations governing existing coal power plants.
Go there and read. More next week.