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Coal Retirements: Defining the Need and the Efficiency Opportunity
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For decades, major areas of the United States have relied heavily on coal for electricity generation. Abundant and relatively cheap, coal has powered large swaths of the Southeast, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and western United States. Aging equipment and increased environmental compliance needs are changing the economic paradigm for many coal-fired plants. Faced with rising fuel prices and requirements for major investments in pollution control equipment, some utilities expect to retire significant coal generation in the next few years. This paper will target eleven states that appear to be losing coal generation in the near future. It will discuss the likely amount of generation retirement in each state, based on several publicly available estimates. It will then discuss the role that energy efficiency and combined heat and power (CHP) might play in supplying reliable energy resources in areas that will be facing high amounts of generation retirement. Finally, this paper will discuss the types of policies and regulatory changes that could help encourage the alternative energy efficiency and CHP scheme discussed herein.
Chittum, A.; Farley, K.; Elliot, R. N. (2012). Coal Retirements: Defining the Need and the Efficiency Opportunity. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from