Electric Utilities May Be Doomed – If they haven’t invested in renewables they better start

The real important point from this article for me is that, ‘The die was cast around 1998, when GDP growth and electricity demand growth became “decoupled”’. In other words, for the last 2o years the utilities should have been investing in renewables and they did not. The point being that renewables are easier to turn “off” when you do not need them. If the utilities start investing heavily now in renewables they may survive. It is a horse race at this point.

https://www.vox.com/platform/amp/energy-and-environment/2018/2/27/17052488/electricity-demand-utilities

The US electricity sector is in a period of unprecedented change and turmoil. Renewable energy prices are falling like crazy. Natural gas production continues its extraordinary surge. Coal, the golden child of the current administration, is headed down the tubes.

In all that bedlam, it’s easy to lose sight of an equally important (if less sexy) trend: Demand for electricity is stagnant.

Thanks to a combination of greater energy efficiency, outsourcing of heavy industry, and customers generating their own power on site, demand for utility power has been flat for 10 years, and most forecasts expect it to stay that way. The die was cast around 1998, when GDP growth and electricity demand growth became “decoupled”:

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Go there and read gleefully. More next week.

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Trump Fills The Swamp – 10 months in and Trump is the most corrupt President ever

Really? No Bid. Nothing. We had experience in the mountains and no one else wanted the contract. That is all they have to say? A company from the Secretary of Interior’s hometown. Zinke had nothing to do with it? WHAT!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/small-montana-firm-lands-puerto-ricos-biggest-contract-to-get-the-power-back-on/2017/10/23/31cccc3e-b4d6-11e7-9e58-e6288544af98_story.html?utm_term=.f40f2a9969f7

Small Montana firm lands Puerto Rico’s biggest contract to get the power back on

October 23

For the sprawling effort to restore Puerto Rico’s crippled electrical grid, the territory’s state-owned utility has turned to a two-year-old company from Montana that had just two full-time employees on the day Hurricane Maria made landfall.

The company, Whitefish Energy, said last week that it had signed a $300 million contract with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority to repair and reconstruct large portions of the island’s electrical infrastructure. The contract is the biggest yet issued in the troubled relief effort.

Whitefish said Monday that it has 280 workers in the territory, using linemen from across the country, most of them as subcontractors, and that the number grows on average from 10 to 20 people a day. It said it was close to completing infrastructure work that will energize some of the key industrial facilities that are critical to restarting the local economy.

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SIGH. Go there and read. More next week.

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The End Of The War On Coal – Hahahahahahahaha

The head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, announced in Tennessee that the “War On Coal” was over. This during his announcement that the EPA was with drawing the Clean Power Plan proposed by the Obama Administration. What a joke this administration is. They accuse the former head of the EPA, Gina McCarthy ,  of picking winners and losers. Well guess what? They have already been picked. Coal lost.

http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/editorials/2017/10/09/texas-monticello-power-plant-closes-signaling-undeniable-shift-natural-gas-renewable-energy

Texas’ Monticello power plant closes, signaling the undeniable shift to natural gas and renewable energy

Dallas Morning News Editorial

If there were any remaining doubts, the age of coal is over and the era of natural gas and renewables is officially here.

Luminant’s decision last week to shut its Monticello Power Plant near Mount Pleasant, one of Texas’ largest and dirtiest coal-fired electricity plants, is a prime example of this shift. The plant’s pending closure in January is a win for clean air and the result of the new economics of energy that renders coal-fired power plants like the Monticello facility cost-prohibitive relics.

This is particularly true in Texas: Hydraulic fracturing has made natural gas production cleaner and cheaper than coal.  Each year, electricity from the sun and wind contribute more megawatts to the state’s power grid. The state’s deregulated electricity market increases competition, which leaves costly, emissions belching coal-fired power plants like Monticello on the wrong side of a historic transformation.

We’re pleased that Luminant took this step after a year-long review of its operations. A decade ago, this editorial board helped lead the charge against the former TXU Corp.’s plan to build about a dozen coal-fired power plants in the state.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Coal Is Out – This is really good news

Coal is no longer economical. That says it all.

Xcel Energy plans to retire two coal-fired plants in Pueblo, increase renewables

Xcel Energy plans to retire two coal-fired plants in Pueblo, increase renewables

Consumers should come out ahead long term, utility says

PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

Xcel Energy on Tuesday continued its shift away from coal, announcing an agreement to retire two of its three coal-burning units at the Comanche Generating Station in Pueblo while adding substantially more wind, solar and natural gas generation.

Xcel Energy will request competitive bids before the end of the year for 1,000 megawatts of additional wind, 700 megawatts of solar and 700 megawatts of natural gas power generation under its “Colorado Energy Plan.”

The state’s largest utility also said it will retire 660 megawatts of coal-generated power from Comanche Unit 1, built in 1973, and Comanche Unit 2, built in 1975. It will continue to operate the newer and cleaner coal-fired Unit 3, which came online in 2010 and has a capacity of 750 megawatts.

“It is really about the economics,” David Eves, president for Xcel Energy in Colorado, said of the retirements, which will take place before the end of 2022 and 2025. “From the company’s perspective, this plan is a response to our customers”

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Navajos Should Deal With The Coal Problem – Retrain your workers

I have always said that the solution to coal and natural gas was to retrain those workers for green technologies and move them on. Here is a perfect example of a culture that controls its resources and could do just that. But they don’t get it. Wake up Navajos!

http://www.utilitydive.com/news/utilities-vote-to-close-2250-mw-navajo-plant-largest-coal-generator-in-we/436222/

Utilities vote to close 2,250 MW Navajo plant, largest coal generator in western US

Dive Brief:

  • Four utilities led by plant operator Salt River Project have decided to shutter the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station (NGS) near Page, Ariz., by 2019. The 2,250 MW plant is the largest coal generator in the western United States.
  • Competition from inexpensive natural gas generators means electricity from NGS is already more expensive than wholesale power prices, the utilities said in a release, a trend that’s not expected to reverse in coming years. The decision is the second major coal shuttering announcement in less than a month.
  • The deal announced this week aims to maintain employment at the plant for almost three years, while also preserving revenues for the Navajo and the Hopi tribes. It also allows the Navajo Nation or others to continue operating the plant beyond 2019, though the current group of owners will not be involved.

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Donald Blankenship – Serial Killer released from jail

It is true. He killed more people than Son of Sam and the Zodiac Killer and he got a year in jail. Why? Because he is a rich white and the death resulted from “mine safety violations”. So, you know, he never had a “direct hand” in their deaths. What a joke. He claims he lives in Las Vegas now, so I hope he wonders off in the desert and suffers a horrible death.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-mine-blast-ex-coal-ceo-blankenship-at-end-of-prison-term/

US mine blast: Ex-coal CEO Blankenship at end of prison term

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship is finishing up a one-year federal prison sentence arising from the deadliest U.S. mine explosion in four decades.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons website, Blankenship was set to be released Wednesday from a halfway house in Phoenix, Arizona. He must serve one year of supervised release.

“I’m glad he had time to reflect on the pain he caused,” former U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin, whose office in Charleston prosecuted the case, said in a text message to The Associated Press ahead of Blankenship’s release. “I hope he used it wisely and will come out of prison ready to make amends.”

It wasn’t immediately clear where Blankenship will serve his supervised release. After his indictment, federal prosecutors indicated Blankenship owned homes in several states, and Blankenship said he lived in Las Vegas. A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Charleston referred questions to the federal Bureau of Prisons.

A bureau spokesman and Blankenship’s attorney, William Taylor, didn’t return requests for comment

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Go there and be horrified. More next week.

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250 Coal Fired Power Plants Close By 2018 – This is very good news

Let me be clear here, the transition to clean energy sources will be painful because it is unplanned. Consider this: What if the Federal Government had a plan to move away from fossil fuels with clear benchmarks for the shift and training programs to move workers into that market. Well, plants would be closed on a schedule that everyone knows in advance, and there would be no pain. Only growth and prosperity. The way we are going about it now, Nuclear Power gets classified as “green”, plants are shuttered and workers are thrown out of their jobs. Brilliant.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-coal-closures-idUSKBN16R2D4

Two Ohio coal-fired plants to close, deepening industry decline

By Emily Flitter | NEW YORK

Electricity company Dayton Power & Light said on Monday it would shut down two coal-fired power plants in southern Ohio next year for economic reasons, a setback for the ailing coal industry but a victory for environmental activists.

Republican President Donald Trump promised in his election campaign to restore U.S. coal jobs that he said had been destroyed by environmental regulations put into effect by his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama.

Dayton Power & Light, a subsidiary of The AES Corporation, said in an emailed statement that it planned to close the J.M. Stuart and Killen plants by June 2018 because they would not be “economically viable beyond mid-2018.”

Coal demand has flagged in recent years due to competition from cheap and plentiful natural gas.

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Go there and jump for joy (I mean read). More next week.

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Trump Dumps Oil Down The Pipelines – It is bad, very bad

Yes, I warned anybody who would listen, that Pres. Trump would finish off this planet and 5 days into he is guaranteeing that some of the dirtiest energy on the planet will be burnt (haha burned). Tar sands for God’s sake. What about leave it in the ground. Nah he wants to toss it up in the air. I am not saying I like McKibben, I do not. I mean on tactics. I think his analysis is right on.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/25/opinion/on-pipelines-donald-trump-looks-backward.html?_r=0

The Opinion Pages | Op-Ed Contributor

On Pipelines, Donald Trump Looks Backward

IF you’re searching for a lens to understand just how President Trump sees the world, his executive orders on Tuesday reviving the Keystone XL and expediting the Dakota Access pipelines provide a sharply focused glimpse. In a word, he looks backward at all times. We’re beginning to get a better sense of what he means by “again” in “Make America Great Again.”

On questions of jobs and industry, he looks back at least to the 1950s. If something is big and made of steel, then it’s great. Like some Soviet Realist painter, Mr. Trump seems to have an image stuck in his head of brawny men building a nation. Those are real jobs, and all the other innovation in the economy doesn’t amount to much.

In fact (a phrase that suddenly seems politically charged) that’s not how economies work any more: If something is big and steel, it’s probably going to be run by robots. If the Keystone XL Pipeline is ever completed, for instance, it will employ about 35 full-time workers, relying for its operation on a vast network of sensors, drones and the like. The number of workers in our labor-intensive solar industry alone now surpasses those employed extracting coal, gas and oil combined

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Just imagine what he can do in 1,400 days. Go there and read.  More next week.

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Dallman Power Plant Is A Pain In The Ash – That won’t change soon

Springfield’s coal fired power plant is not compliant with the Clean Air Act. Apparently it won’t be anytime soon.

http://www.sj-r.com/news/20160727/illinois-epa-seeks-comment-on-cwlp-clean-air-permit

Illinois EPA seeks comment on CWLP clean air permit

By Mary Hansen
Staff Writer

Posted Jul. 27, 2016 at 5:58 PM

Springfield residents can ask questions and comment on proposed updates to an air pollution permit for City Water, Light and Power’s generating station at a public hearing Aug 30.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is holding the 7 p.m. hearing at the University of Illinois Springfield’s Public Affairs Center.

The state agency is gathering comments in its process to update a Clean Air Act permit for CWLP. Under the Clean Air Act, the federal government sets limits for certain pollutants.

The changes to the permit include regulations for CWLP’s newest power plant unit, Dallman 4, which was not covered under the original permit. It also has requirements that were not law when the Illinois EPA issued the permit for Dallman 4, such as emission limits for mercury and other air toxins. The city-owned utility has been required to comply with these standards, but the permit allows the federal and state agencies, as well as the public, to monitor and enforce them.

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Go there and read. Google the topic too. More next week.

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Illinois Senate SB 1585 Is A Bad Bill – It is worse than the original bill

The original BAD idea behind this bill was that Excelon’s Nukes were not profitable so they needed a subsidy from the State of Illinois or they would have to shut down. That subsidy would come from including the Nukes as part of Illinois’ Clean Energy Portfolio. Yah right, like Nukes are a clean source of energy. But this 2016 version rolls Clean Coal, Renewable Energy and Nuclear Power into the same package. Just how bad is this Bill? There is no such thing as Clean Coal.

http://www.illinoispeoplesaction.org/uploads/1/2/6/2/12620849/update-_kill_sb_1585.pdf

HELP US KILL EXELON’S BAILOUT BILL!
Less than a week ago, Exelon– the owner of Illinois’ nuclear power industry and one of the largest energy companies in the world– introduced a new bill to the Illinois Senate. SB 1585 is disguised as a “new generation” energy plan for our state, but is nothing more than a giant bailout for Exelon.
To make things worse, Exelon is using their energy monopoly to strongarm our lawmakers, threatening to close 2 nuclear power plants if the bill doesn’t pass by May 31st.  SB1585 takes tax dollars out of our
hands, and puts them straight into the pockets of Exelon.
Our tax dollar should not be used to keep dangerous nuclear energy in business. Instead, our tax dollars should be invested in the clean energy future that our state and planet needs!
BEAT BACK THE EXELON SHAKEDOWN!
3 Things YOU can do THIS WEEK!
1. Electronically
Submit a Witness Slip AGAINST this bad bill!

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Go there and read. More important, do everything they say and show up at the State Capitol if you can. More next week.

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