In 2009, nearly 15,000 megawatts of proposed coal fired power plants were canceled. To put that in perspective, that would represent about a third of all electricity generating capacity of a
state the size of California.
This is not a consequence of a slow economy alone; eight years ago, 36,000 megawatts of new coal plants were on the drawing boards and a mere 13% of those were actually built.
If coal is dying as a source of US power generation, what’s the cause and what will replace it as we power up the reviving American economy?
First, let me count the ways that coal has finally been unmasked as not so “cheap” power:
The bottom line? Coal may still be alive, but don’t put your money on anything that relies on it being around for much longer. Oh, and you might want to save this blog in case you need a few things to say at the funeral.
Terry Tamminen, former Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, is a partner at Pegasus Sustainable Century Merchant Bank and the Cullman Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation. (Cracking The Carbon Code is a registered trademark of Terry Tamminen).