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Almost 1/5 of coal electricity generation to be shut down by 2020

tennmiketennmike Senior MemberUnder a logPosts: 27,457 Senior Member
The EPA is on a roll. Shutting down 60 gigawatts of power generation with nothing in the pipeline to replace it.

https://www.uschamber.com/blog/almost-20-coal-fired-electricity-generation-will-shut-down-because-one-epa-regulation?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Wallpost&utm_campaign=Status


Almost 20% of Coal-Fired Electricity Generation Will Shut Down Because of One EPA Regulation
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 10:00am
— Written by
Sean Hackbarth
Bloomberg_TVA_Kentucky_800px.png
Tennessee Valley Authority Paradise Fossil Plant in Paradise, Kentucky. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg.
Tennessee Valley Authority Paradise Fossil Plant in Paradise, Kentucky. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg.

As a major threat to reliable, affordable electricity, EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas regulations have garnered the most attention lately. But it’s not the only one. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule will lead to the retirement of 54 gigawatts (GW) of coal-fired electricity generating capacity by 2016, and with a total of 60 gigawatts lost by 2020:

Coal-fired power plants are subject to the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), which require significant reductions in emissions of mercury, acid gases, and toxic metals. The standards are scheduled to take effect in April 2015, a deadline that is conditionally allowed to be extended by up to one year by state environmental permitting agencies. Projected retirements of coal-fired generating capacity in the AEO2014 include retirements above and beyond those reported to EIA as planned by power plant owners and operators. In these projections, 90% of the coal-fired capacity retirements occur by 2016, coinciding with the first year of enforcement for the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards.

To put this into perspective, as of 2012, there was approximately 310 GW of coal-fired electrical generating capacity available to power our economy and heat our homes. So roughly one-fifth will be shut down by MATS, making electricity production more dependent on other energy sources. Less energy diversity will make the electrical grid less reliable and more vulnerable to price spikes, especially during unseasonable weather like this winter's cold snaps.
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Replies

  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Central MNPosts: 14,659 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Fine and dandy. I agree.
    Problem is...........the dicks are shutting it down....with no replacement.

    Should be interesting to see who gets the switch flipped when that extra power is not available, the east coast, the west coast, the south, or the midwest:popcorn:
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • JeeperJeeper Senior Member Tampa, FL areaPosts: 2,954 Senior Member
    God forbid we make coal plants clean up all the toxic crap they spew into the atmosphere and compete on a fair playing field with other cleaner energy sources like Nuclear and Natural Gas which don't have the same problems. The other thing not mentioned is that most of these plants that will shut down are aging and inefficient, most of which are well past their original design life and would probably need to be retired eventually either way. Coal is a 19th century fuel and we should do what we can to minimize it's use in the 21st century. Yes that does mean we need to fix our nuclear regs to make it actually possible to get some new, modern nuke plants built to replace the coal and nuke plants and provide some baseload to go with all the CCNG and renewables we're building.

    If you think nuclear power is clean, you know NOTHING about nuclear power. We are already sitting on dozens of guaranteed time bombs IMO.

    Luis
    Wielding the Hammer of Thor first requires you to lift and carry the Hammer of Thor. - Bigslug
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member crusted in sandPosts: 5,797 Senior Member
    Electricity markets are all regional. Depends where the plants are and what the spare capacity is. There's always lots of spare capacity. When it gets short, prices rise giving incentives to build new plants. Also, demand has been largely flat to down the past 6-7 years or so due to efficiency gains, so not a lot of need for new generation, although they have been building a lot of ng and wind anyway.


    Since you have all the answers, tell me where does that leave the end user? I don't know of anyone that gets to shop around for electric companies like shopping for a cable or satellite company or an internet provider. Where I live my only choice is Southern Company and my electricity is coal fired. I'd love to have a cleaner solution but I don't have a choice, nor does anyone else whose electricity is coal fired. It's easy for you to sit on you high chair and say that it should have happened a long time ago but the end users don't control the power companies decisions although the end users will have to absorb the inevitable increase in costs. Likely a huge increase. Now I'm sure you'll answer with something like "everyone's enjoyed cheap electricity for too long and should have expected an eventual huge increase."
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Central MNPosts: 14,659 Senior Member
    Electricity markets are all regional. Depends where the plants are and what the spare capacity is. There's always lots of spare capacity. When it gets short, prices rise giving incentives to build new plants. Also, demand has been largely flat to down the past 6-7 years or so due to efficiency gains, so not a lot of need for new generation, although they have been building a lot of ng and wind anyway.

    So, they are building new plants to replace the shut down plants that supply power to the region? Where are these folks going to get the spare capacity from? Why would a new plant be built if the prices are high? Won't new plants bring the price back down?
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Under a logPosts: 27,457 Senior Member
    God forbid we make coal plants clean up all the toxic crap they spew into the atmosphere and compete on a fair playing field with other cleaner energy sources like Nuclear and Natural Gas which don't have the same problems. The other thing not mentioned is that most of these plants that will shut down are aging and inefficient, most of which are well past their original design life and would probably need to be retired eventually either way. Coal is a 19th century fuel and we should do what we can to minimize it's use in the 21st century. Yes that does mean we need to fix our nuclear regs to make it actually possible to get some new, modern nuke plants built to replace the coal and nuke plants and provide some baseload to go with all the CCNG and renewables we're building.

    There is no tested ready-for-prime-time technology available to remove mercury from emissions. Get busy, Science Boy.

    In case you haven't been paying attention, both propane and natural gas supplies are experiencing major shortfalls in supply vs. demand. Try again.

    You have REPEATEDLY espoused the notion that nuclear is too expensive. I've told you why on numerous occasions and you have yet to respond. A Democrat president shut down the spent fuel recycling plant that would have taken the spent fuel and reprocessed it into new fuel. THREE Democrat presidents have stopped, delayed, or otherwise obstructed the construction of a spent fuel storage facility. And ONE of them even tried to keep the money that nuclear utilities had put in a general fund for the fuel reprocessing nuclear plant. The utilities sued and got their billions of dollars back. Check out the NRC and EPA as to why nuclear is so expensive. It ain't rocket surgery to find out the reasons.

    And yet again, you speak of that which you are not cognizant. The plants are NOT inefficient. Most have been retrofitted over the years with state of the art pollution controls, and updated with newer technology to squeeze every watt available out of them; the EPA mandated upgrades and forced compliance. Some really old plants have been shut down due to it not being cost effective to rebuild them from the ground up, which they would require. The reason the coal plants are aging is due to the regulations from the EPA, and your hero, Obama, has said long ago that if anyone builds new coal plants, that he will bankrupt them.

    Renewables are also not ready for prime time. Here's a list of companies backed by your man, Obama, that are dismal bankrupted FAILURES! Renewable energy sources, my alimentary canal terminus!

    http://blog.heritage.org/2012/10/18/president-obamas-taxpayer-backed-green-energy-failures/
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Lake County, FloridaPosts: 7,927 Senior Member
    I'm sure all the political wind will power the windmills and hot air emitted from Ovomit and the EPA combined would heat all the homes in winter when the coal plants are prematurely put out of business. (Obama 2008 loose quote: "we will make it financially impossible for coal-fired plants to exist, and electricity prices will necessarily skyrocket") Industry choice, my big ol' butt!!

    My solution: hang all these ....ing commie traitors from a tall tree at the end of a short rope! We are incrementally being converted to slaves of the federal government through the EPA, HHS, IRS and Justice Dept., and I honestly don't understand why some people don't see how this is going to end very badly. Defenders of this stuff are either morons, hypocrites or blinded by their ideology of progressive liberalism.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • horselipshorselips Senior Member Posts: 3,628 Senior Member
    Utility companies using coal-fired generators should just throw the OFF switch NOW and plunge millions into the cold and dark. And leave them off until Obama and his rogue EPA Nazis (thank you Godwin) back off their regulations. Other utility companies should cut their generators off in solidarity. Shut down the whole country. Screw it. Time for massive corporate civil disobedience. There's no other way to force government out of the economy. Like in the movie War Games, the only winning move is NOT TO PLAY.

    We are seeing freedom fighting people around the world resisting, even overthrowing dictatorships and socialists. Battles are being fought from Egypt to Thailand to Venezuela to Ukraine. We don't need or want to overthrow our government, but we do need to restore capitalism and achieve energy independence, and every kilowatt we produce, regardless of how we produce it, works towards that goal. it's a cinch to make an environmental or economic argument against any kind of power generation, so don't bother me with eco-chondriac drivel. Coal fired plants are reliable, and they make energy their customers can afford to buy. All Obama wants to do is pile on new regulations to make that cheap, reliable energy unaffordable, and to add thousands and thousands of coal miners and related workers to his growing list of dependents not participating in the labor force. The more people out of the work force - the easier it is to fudge the unemployment numbers down and fool the press, and the rest of the low-information folks.
  • DurangoKidDurangoKid Member WyomingPosts: 183 Member
    Wyoming is the largest coal producing state in the United States. The largest market for Wyoming coal is the growing societies of Asia. The "Greens" are closing down coal transportation to coastal shipping claiming possible dust pollution.
    It is only a matter of time before massive "Black-outs" in California occur. They are going to cry in the dark on long hot nights. :p
  • Elk creekElk creek Senior Member Colorado!Posts: 7,697 Senior Member
    Not to mention half the Wyoming economy right in the swirler. I grew up in Campbell county aka the largest producer of coal in the world. That place runs on coal and cows period. It would be ugly if they shut the coal down.
    Aim higher, or get a bigger gun.
  • DurangoKidDurangoKid Member WyomingPosts: 183 Member
    So true Elk C. they just closed a newly opened PKS Coal Mine here in SW Wyoming. Ouch!!
  • Elk creekElk creek Senior Member Colorado!Posts: 7,697 Senior Member
    That sucks, there will always be a market for coal. Once the economy goes to fertilizer the locals will have no choice but to heat, cook with coal. As we did when I was a kid (cooking was at the "cow camp") almost everyone in our area heated with coal. You could get a pickup load for 10 bucks form the Wyodak plant.
    Aim higher, or get a bigger gun.
  • DurangoKidDurangoKid Member WyomingPosts: 183 Member
    I remember Wyodak very well. As a young Engineer I did some work for them long ago. I imagine you recall when Reno Junction was just a bar and a store. When Wright was a buffalo pasture?
  • Elk creekElk creek Senior Member Colorado!Posts: 7,697 Senior Member
    My dad was a deputy with ccso he drug us down to Wright when they had their big "opening" Man the "growth" out there. The saddest thing in the world was the the closing of the Bears Den.
    Aim higher, or get a bigger gun.
  • horselipshorselips Senior Member Posts: 3,628 Senior Member
    "First thing we do is kill all the environ-mental-cases."

    There, Mr. Shakespeare, FIFY.
  • DurangoKidDurangoKid Member WyomingPosts: 183 Member
    Wow!! Thanks Elk C. I have been trying to remember the name of the Bears Den for years. That was the kind of place that made Wyoming special. :love:
  • DurangoKidDurangoKid Member WyomingPosts: 183 Member
    Horseslips, You are a very special fellow.:applause:
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Under a logPosts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Horselips is right, but the timing would have to be right. Wait until a heat wave hits. Then EVERY coal fired generating plant shuts down on the same day for outage to repair/replace equipment. About a month with all them shut down would have the people screaming, and possibly eradicating the greens/environmentalists that dared open their pie holes. Rolling blackouts would be the result. Cutting off approximately HALF of all power generation would be a worthwhile exercise in finding out whether or not the tail wags the dog.

    The technology to remove mercury from flue gas that is available, will cost BILLIONS of dollars to buy and install, and in best case scenarios, will remove 60%-70% of elemental mercury. That is best case. And a capital investment most plants cannot afford.

    The EPA rule on mercury capture from coal plants is like that fuel additive that does not exist. The fuel additive only exists in small quantities in laboratories, and is not available to the fuel blenders, so the EPA fines all fuel blenders huge amounts of money for not blending the fuel additive, made of unobtanium, to their fuel. The STUPID emanating from the EPA makes my head hurt.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • DurangoKidDurangoKid Member WyomingPosts: 183 Member
    You are so correct great analysis of our energy future.
  • BullgatorBullgator Member Central FloridaPosts: 393 Member
    The technology does exist (although relatively new) and can reduce emissions by 80-90% and is operating in at least 14 power plants and costs aren't that terrible relative to other control technologies ...a few million per plant.
    http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-47

    If this relatively cheap emissions control technology could bring plants into compliance, why would the utilities choose to shut them down? Just doesn't add up.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Dellrose TNPosts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Throw one liberal an hour into the furnace with the coal. It won't help the smokestack emissions much, but it will diminish a lot of the hot air they're polluting the atmosphere with!
    Jerry
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member A true 'Southerner'. NZPosts: 8,401 Senior Member
    Simple maths shows me that when you total the number of 'green' energy companies that failed on the taxpayers dime, the total comes to 1.6 billion dollars.........

    So the question I have is, that takes care of those that are going bankrupt...................how much electricity do the ones that aren't going bankrupt produce at the moment?
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member crusted in sandPosts: 5,797 Senior Member
    The technology does exist (although relatively new) and can reduce emissions by 80-90% and is operating in at least 14 power plants and costs aren't that terrible relative to other control technologies ...a few million per plant. Then again I guess everyone else is ok with large quantities of mercury bioaccumulating in your fish? For those blaming Obama for this, it's been in progress since 2000, but yes it needs to happen and Obama and his administration support it.

    http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-47


    Since you're so quick with google and snippy remarks, I've got another question that I'm sure that you'll have a quick answer for.
    What happens with the mercury contaminated sorbent? Or the mercury contaminated fabric filters that might be used in conjunction with the sorbent injection systems? The minimal costs that are claimed for the sorbent injection systems don't include the cost of hazardous waste disposal. There's no mention of that whatsoever although something has to be done with all the contaminants that are removed from the power plant discharge. Whose backyard should we bury that in?
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • DurangoKidDurangoKid Member WyomingPosts: 183 Member
    Just how the Mercury enters the food chain remains mostly unknown.

    http://www.usgs.gov/themes/factsheet/146-00/
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Under a logPosts: 27,457 Senior Member
    It is a fair point, conservation of mass is a PITA, but I'd much rather have the mercury in a landfill somewhere than in the air I'm breathing or fish I'm eating. Modern hazmat landfills are pretty well engineered these days and more common than you'd expect. My work is working on a risk assessment for handling and disposal of all the radioactive material generated from oil and gas development in ND. Nothing is impact free, but most of the issues can be managed safely with the right controls in place. I don't know about you, but I'd rather pay a tiny bit more for energy that's produced in the cleanest and safest manner than close my eyes, stick my fingers in my ears and say "nothing to see here".

    That mercury captured in the fly ash precipitators would be entrained with the fly ash. Fly ash is either stored in on site ponds or put in landfills. NOT in hazmat landfills. WTH, you think they extract the mercury from the fly ash? Do you even have a clue as to how much fly ash is produced by a large coal plant? Never mind; the answer to that is obvious.

    Fly ash used to be used in brick manufacturing and road construction until it was found to contain minute amounts of radionuclides. The government banned those uses for fly ash because of it. The mercury contained it it wasn't a problem for those uses.

    Cost: You say pay 'a tiny bit more' for this technology installation? Again, you have no clue as to how much it would cost any of these plants to retrofit this technology. That 'little bit more' would result in power bills FAR HIGHER than current levels.

    You think hazmat landfills are safe? Heard the news about the fire and release of nuclear material to the air in New Mexico at the underground site for high level radioactive waste?

    And another thing you aren't even considering; the transport of fly ash to a burial site. You are obviously unaware of the properties of fly ash. Transport in open rail cars would be verboten. By the time you got to the burial site, the open hoppers would be FULL OF EMPTY. Covered hoppers aren't airtight, either. And wet fly ash exposed to air and the heat inside a covered hopper would be set up like concrete by the time it arrived at the burial site. Here's another clue; fly ash is highly corrosive to carbon steel, and doesn't play well with stainless steel, either.

    And your wind power is one of the highest polluters for the simple fact that the rare metals contained in the generators cause HUGE amounts of pollution in mining and refining. And the same goes for the photovoltaic cell generation. It's the dirty fact about the 'clean energy' sources you refuse to acknowledge. Now who is sticking their fingers in their ears and closing their eyes and saying, 'nothing to see or hear here?
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • DurangoKidDurangoKid Member WyomingPosts: 183 Member
    Tenmike, Great post.
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