Full Title: A Dwindling Role for Coal
Author(s): Jeremy Richardson, Sam Goberg, & Julie McNamara
Publisher(s): Union of Concerned Scientists
Publication Date: September 1, 2017
Full Text: Download Resource
There’s a historic transition underway in the US electricity sector, as coal power gives way to newer, cleaner technologies.
But exactly how rapid and dramatic has the transition been—and what’s going to happen in the next few years?
The share of US electricity coming from coal fell from 51 percent in 2008 to 31 percent in 2016—an unprecedented change. New UCS analysis finds that, of the coal units that remain, roughly one in four plans to retire or convert to natural gas; another 17 percent are uneconomic and could face retirement soon.
The closure of a coal plant raises complex issues. While hugely beneficial to public health, closures also raise concerns about jobs and the local tax base for surrounding communities. Our community snapshots document these and other challenges, underscoring the need for a fair and thoughtful transition.