Early retirements of coal-fired power plants pose a risk to reliability of electricity supply, according to Black & Veatch’s latest survey of the electric power market.
The survey was conducted between 24 May and 9 June and received input from 672 qualified respondents from utility, municipality, commercial and community stakeholders. Of those that responded, 83% said early coal retirement would have an impact.
Reliability also topped the survey’s list of issues impacting the electric power industry, scoring an average of 4.56 out of five (five being “very important), just ahead of cybersecurity and environmental regulation, both of which scored 4.37.
“Can anything stop the momentum towards decreasing or removing coal entirely from the US power mix? Many would say the answer is no,” the report said. “But at the same time, the country has yet to experience a widespread, prolonged issue with reliability.”
Gas has recently overtaken coal as the largest player in the US power mix. Meanwhile, renewable generation is expected to account for 23% of the US energy mix in 2025, compared to 13% in 2015, according to the US Energy Information Administration.
“The country’s previous coal generation backbone has provided high reliability in the past,” Black & Veatch concludes. “As coal and nuclear power disappear from the baseload realm and only gas and renewables remain, many utilities see this as a worrisome scenario.”
Edited by Jonathan Rowland.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/power/12082016/falling-coal-generation-a-worrisome-scenario-2016-2220/