DOE report blames natural gas for closures

By District Energy posted 08-23-2017 00:00


Hannah Northey and Peter Behr, E&E News


A long-awaited Energy Department staff report on electricity markets and reliability singles out natural gas — not renewables or environmental regulations — as the leading driver of coal plant closures in this decade, challenging the Trump administration's case for saving coal.

"The biggest contributor to coal and nuclear plant retirements has been the advantaged economics of natural gas-fired generation" fueled by the shale revolution, the report says.

The 187-page report, which DOE released tonight, was ordered by Energy Secretary Rick Perry in April to review the closure of "baseload" coal and nuclear plants and "market-distorting effects of federal subsidies that boost one form of energy at the expense of others."

Photo: Energy Department staff has released a comprehensive review of challenges facing the U.S. power grid. Dennis Schroeder/NREL (turbines); Margaret Kriz Hobson/E&E News (pipeline); hpgruesen/Pixabay (power lines)

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