Will 2018 Be the Year of Solar or Coal?

Happy New Year! At Forbes Brian Potts asks a pithy question: will 2018 be the year of solar or coal? He starts with an observation familiar to most who have a passing familiarity with energy innovation in the past decade: the decline of coal as an electricity generation fuel source is a consequence of the … More Will 2018 Be the Year of Solar or Coal?

Europe is Burning More American Coal

Michael Giberson Natural gas production is booming in the United States. The resulting low natural gas prices are helping the fuel displace other energy sources, most particularly the use of coal to produce electric power. As U.S. demand for coal falls, so has its price and as a result international coal buyers are increasingly turning … More Europe is Burning More American Coal

Coal Company to Epa: Regulate Me, Please

Michael Giberson It looks like a “man bites dog” headline in the New York Times: “A Coal-Fired Plant That Is Eager for U.S. Rules.” As operators of coal-fired power plants around the country welcome a court-ordered delay on tighter pollution rules, the owner of a retrofitted plant here says that the rules cannot come too soon. … More Coal Company to Epa: Regulate Me, Please

Coal in a World of Cheap Natural Gas

Michael Giberson Natural gas has become cheap enough relative to coal that some gas-fired electric generators are able to underbid baseload coal generators.  Market-based switching from coal power to gas has increased demand for gas by three billion cubic feet per day according to a Merrill Lynch analysis cited in the Wall Street Journal today. … More Coal in a World of Cheap Natural Gas

Sorting out Some Claims About Danish Wind Power

Michael Giberson A shortened version of Michael Trebilcock’s commentary on wind power, mentioned here the other day, was published in the Financial Post under the not so subtle title of, “Wind power is a complete disaster.” The Financial Post subsequently published a reply by Sigurd Lauge Pedersen, a Senior Adviser to the Danish Energy Agency: … More Sorting out Some Claims About Danish Wind Power

Consumers Asked to Pay More Next Year for Last Year’s Increases in Utility Costs

Michael Giberson A story from the Charlotte Observer provides a reminder of the speed at which useful information about the scarcity of resources percolates through regulated electric utility rates: “Duke to seek rate increases.” In brief, Duke Energy is requesting approval from the North Carolina Utilities Commission to raise rates beginning September 2009 and continuing … More Consumers Asked to Pay More Next Year for Last Year’s Increases in Utility Costs