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New America’s Power white paper highlights continued importance of coal fleet

Published by , Assistant Editor
World Coal,

On 27 March 2019, America’s Power released its latest white paper, ‘The Value of Coal and the Nation’s Coal Fleet.’ The white paper highlights the important role the nation’s coal fleet plays in six key areas of the electric grid: helping to assure the grid is both reliable and resilient; providing fuel security; serving as an insurance policy at critical times; producing affordable electricity; contributing to fuel diversity; and supporting national security.

Michelle Bloodworth, President and CEO of America’s Power noted that, “This white paper will serve as an important resource for policymakers and other industry leaders as they continue to advocate for the coal fleet.”

“Coal has been the backbone of our nation’s electric grid for a long time, and is projected to continue to play a significant role over the next several decades,” Bloodworth continued.

“Nearly 40% of our nation’s coal fleet has retired or announced plans to retire which mean that our nation’s electricity supply is becoming increasingly dependent on sources that provide little fuel security or are intermittent. The premature retirements have led policymakers such as grid operators; regional transmission organisations; the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; the US Department of Energy; the North American Electric Reliability Corporation; and others to express serious concerns that coal retirements are becoming a risk to the resilience of the electricity grid.”

As noted in the white paper, steps must be taken to prevent the premature retirement of more coal-fuelled electric generating capacity. Policymakers are also encouraged to establish policies that provide a bridge to the next generation of high efficiency, low emissions (HELE) coal-fuelled generating units.

Michelle Bloodworth continued: “Having a coal fleet is essential to ensuring that our nation’s electricity grid is reliable and resilient. Unfortunately, once a coal plant closes, it does not reopen. Hopefully as a result of this white paper, policymakers will be better armed as they work to enact policies that support the coal fleet for generations to come.”

On Friday 29 March, America’s Power in conjunction with the National Mining Association (NMA) and RealClear Politics, will also host a discussion on access, affordability, and fuel diversity when powering the nation’s electric grid. Event speakers include US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and West Virginia Congressman David McKinley.

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