Farmington Daily Time, Matthew Kandrach, Consumer Action for a Strong Economy Published 4:43 a.m. MT July 25, 2018
There is growing alarm over the loss of America’s baseload sources of electricity. Coal and nuclear power plants are being pushed off the grid by a three-headed monster of heavily-subsidized renewable energy, the legacy effects of overzealous regulation, and a glut of natural gas.
Since 2010, more than 600 coal-fired generating units in 43 states have retired or announced plans to retire. Nearly 70 Gigawatts of coal capacity (enough to power 50 million homes) has already been retired, and half of the nation’s commercial nuclear fleet is facing financial pressure.
While wholesale electricity costs have actually fallen in some regions of the country over the past few years, it appears we’re reaching a tipping point where a further loss of coal and nuclear capacity could impose a huge financial burden on consumers.
A new case study by Energy Ventures Analysis (EVA) examined the potential cost of early retirement for three coal plants operating in the nation’s largest electricity market.
The study found that the cost of retiring these three plants would be 15 times higher than providing support to keep them operating. The costs from premature retirement would exceed $2 billion per year.