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Friday Energy Facts: Half of Power Plant Capacity Additions in 2013 Came From Natural Gas

April 11, 2014 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Power Plant Capacity Additions

Natural gas-fired power plants accounted for just over 50% of new utility-scale generating capacity added in 2013. Solar provided nearly 22%, a jump up from less than 6% in 2012. Coal provided 11% and wind nearly 8%. Almost half of all capacity added in 2013 was located in California.[read more]

Water Used by Power Plants [INFOGRAPHIC]

March 26, 2014 by Jared Anderson

Power Plants and Water

This infographic helps to visualize the great volumes of water used to generate electricity from various sources. In addition to power generation, water is also used to produce oil, gas, coal, biofuels and most raw energy-related commodities.[read more]

Dueling Charts of the Day: Peaker Plants vs. Green Power

January 21, 2014 by Jeff St. John

Peaker Plants and Green Power

Wind and solar power are transitioning from marginal to central players in the grid energy landscape. But wind and solar are also subject to the vagaries of daily and seasonal weather patterns, which means they sometimes can't be relied on to meet the grid’s critical needs.[read more]

Cutler Plant Demolition: Memorable Smokestacks Knocked Down [VIDEO]

October 9, 2013 by Rod Adams

Cutler Demolition

While preparing a presentation for delivery at a local college, I ran across a video of Florida Power & Light’s August 10, 2013 demolition of the historic Cutler power plant in Palmetto Bay, Florida. Cutler Plant’s tall smokestacks played a role in my early interest in nuclear energy.[read more]

Power Plant Regulations: Much Ado About Nothing?

October 9, 2013 by Meredith Fowlie

Power Plants and Regulations

With all bluster associated with the EPA's new power plant regulations, you might think they will deliver substantial emissions reductions at substantial economic cost to the coal industry. But a detailed regulatory impact assessment concludes they will have no costs associated with it.[read more]

Are Utilities Deliberately Ignoring CHP Over Large Centralized Power Plants?

September 30, 2013 by Rasika Athawale

In July the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy released three papers highlighting the benefits that electric and natural gas utilities can derive, if they invest in new combined heat and power (CHP) projects. But utilities have seldom shown an interest in CHP facilities.[read more]

EPA Launches Carbon Pollution Standards for New Power Plants

September 24, 2013 by David Doniger

EPA Power Plant Regulations

The Environmental Protection Agency has launched proposed standards to limit dangerous carbon pollution from new power plants. This is the first big step to implement President Obama’s ambitious Climate Action Plan, announced in June.[read more]

FAQ: What Is This New EPA Carbon Pollution Standard All About?

September 23, 2013 by NRDC Switchboard

We have an obligation to protect future generations from the costs and risks of climate change. It's the most pressing environmental challenge of our time. It's already imposing large and growing costs on our country. It's putting our future at risk.[read more]


Can Obama's Climate Change Policy Reduce Carbon Emissions?

July 2, 2013 by John Miller

Obama and Carbon Emissions


President Obama’s recently proposed Climate Policy has received mixed reviews. How effective can this new policy be in actually reducing future U.S. carbon emissions?[read more]

How a Capacity Market Works

June 14, 2013 by Adam James

There is a difference between energy and capacity, and power plants are compensated for both because both are important to maintaining the electrical system in different ways.[read more]


Energy Facts: Is the U.S. Shift from Coal to Natural Gas Stalling Out?

March 22, 2013 by Jesse Jenkins

Coal mine via Shutterstock

The historic shift from coal to natural gas in the U.S. electric power sector may be stalling out, according to the latest forecasts from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.[read more]

The EPA's coal mandate: An opportunity for nuclear, a giveaway for natural gas

March 28, 2012 by Steve Skutnik

Today the EPA issued its first-ever regulation on carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants, limiting emissions to 1000 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour of electricity produced. Given the fact that the average coal plant vastly exceeds this limit (weighing in around 1,768 lbs CO2 per megawatt-hour), the implications of the move seem...[read more]

The Beginning of the End for Coal?

March 28, 2012 by Geoffrey Styles

I saw in Tuesday's Washington Post that the EPA was ready to issue its proposed rules for CO2 emissions from new power plants. When finalized, these rules would apply to facilities larger than 25 MW that begin construction more than a year hence. As the Post notes, the chosen CO2 emissions limit of 1,000 lb. per gross Megawatt-hour (MWh...[read more]


Is Water a Barrier to a Low-Carbon Energy Future?

March 19, 2012 by Jesse Jenkins

Ask an expert on clean tech what the largest barriers to a low carbon energy future are, and chances are they will list higher technology costs, policy barriers, or the need for new infrastructure to accommodate novel energy sources.[read more]

Why Coal-Rich Kosovo Can Lead on Clean Energy

March 14, 2012 by Christina Nunez

Over the past decade, plans for 160 new coal fired power plants in the United States have been scrapped, largely due to rising costs and an inability to compete in today’s energy markets. That’s because the cost of once-“expensive” clean energy has fallen dramatically.[read more]