The Changing Energy Industry is Causing Coal Power Plant Retirement Surge

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Coal-fired power plants retire, natural gas surges

Last year, the U.S. utilities retired 18 GW of power plants last year to meet energy industry standards, with the majority being coal-fired power plants according to a report from the Energy Information Administration department.

The loss in coal energy equals 4.6% of the country's total coal-fired electric generation capacity.  That is above projections for the year.  The EIA also reported that Virginia retired 21% of its coal-fired generation capacity in 2015.  Georgia retired 18% last year.  Lastly, Ohio retired 15% in 2015.  Kentucky, Indiana, and West Virginia also retired large amounts of coal-generated power.

The cost of electricity generation from natural gas and renewable resources is falling while energy consumption is growing more slowly because of conservation efforts and energy efficiency.

Another wave of coal-fired power plant closures is expected in April when a one-year federal extension to comply with mercurty emission rules expires. 

Read the full story here. 

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