Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major Energy and Environmental News and Commentary affecting the Nuclear Industry.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The future of coal: Old energy source under new pressures, but it’s not dust yet

Sunny days appear to be ahead for green energy in Tennessee, but the coal industry faces a future clouded by a number of issues such as declining demand because of environmental concerns and the resurgence of nuclear power.
Utilities like TVA are the primary customers for coal companies, and TVA recently announced a strategic shift away from coal and toward more sustainable energy sources for its power plants. It already plans to idle nine coal-fired units at its fossil plants.
The fossil plants themselves face an uncertain future as tougher air quality regulations make it costlier to operate some plants that would need expensive scrubbing equipment.
Some observers believe the end is approaching for coal as a viable fuel source. A Jan. 25 story in the London Financial Times, headlined "The Death of U.S. Coal," examined the possibility that tight new Environmental Protection Agency restrictions on sulphur dioxide emissions will push utilities to start abandoning fossil plants as a source of electrical power. A July 19 story in Forbes magazine reported that Edison International already has shuttered two coal-fired plants near Chicago because of the regulations. More at: http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2010/oct/17/future-coal-old-energy-source-under-new-pressures-/
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