Coal Plants Scheduled for Closing
The Institute for Energy Research has reproduced the Energy Information Administration's map of where coal plants are scheduled to close over the next four years, according the EPA's schedule. A total of 27 gigawatts are scheduled to be retired for failure to meet air polluting standards. That's four times the 6.5 GW that were closed between 2007 and 2011. In 2012, 9 GW were closed, the largest annual total in history. The pace slows this year and next but over 60 units are expected to be shut down in 2015.
Most of the closings are in the Appalachian Basin and along the East Coast, where plants are fed by high-sulfur Appalachian Coal. But the giant 800-MW Navaho plant in Arizona is also in the EPA's sites. It fees Los Angeles. Probably most of these boilers will be replaced by units burning natural gas. Prices are already climbing and if the US starts exporting and natural gas vehicles gain a foothold, the price may not stay down forever. This will eventually be reflected in electrical rates.