2020-09-25
http://w3.windfair.net/wind-energy/news/33482-reuters-usa-decline-coal-decommissioning-fossil-renewable-energy-wind-solar-costs-donald-trump-coal-industry-voters

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Not Even Trump Can Prevent the Coal Decline in the U.S.

Although President Donald Trump expresses his support for the country's coal industry at every opportunity, U.S. coal-fired power plants with a capacity of more than 15,000 megawatts were decommissioned or converted last year.

Image: PixabayImage: Pixabay

In 2019, around 15,100 MW of coal-fired power generation was decommissioned or converted, according to Reuters - the second highest figure since the record year of 2015, when a total of 19,300 MW was decommissioned.

Despite Trump's intense support, the coal industry has been in steep decline for a decade. Instead, the Americans are relying on cheap gas, solar and wind power. Nonetheless, Trump continues to work to win over the remaining coal workers as voters, mainly by taking back Obama-era environmental safeguards.

But anyway an estimated 39,000 MW of coal-fired power plant capacity has been decommissioned since he took office in 2017. If this trend will continue, more coal-fired power plants will be closed in the four years of his term - an estimated 46,600 MW - than during Obama's second term (2013-2016) - around 43,100 MW.

In addition to the population's changing climate protection awareness, however, the main reason for the decline of coal in the U.S. is the cheap gas that can be obtained through fracking. Although gas emits only half as much carbon dioxide as coal, it also contributes to global warming compared to renewable energies.

The decline of coal is unstoppable (Image: Reuters)

This trend can be reversed in particular by the individual federal states by increasing their carbon emission reduction targets and promoting the expansion of renewable energies. Thus energy utility Tri-State Generation and Transmission has announced that it will close all its coal-fired power plants in Colorado and New Mexico in the coming years, as both states have issued ambitious climate protection targets. In addition, coal mining is becoming less and less profitable, as the company points out: "The low costs of renewable energy and operating cost reductions help to counterbalance the cost to retire our coal assets early."

The State of New York, on the other hand, is fully committed to the rapid development of an offshore wind industry and will invest massively in research and training in this area in the coming years.

Author:
Katrin Radtke
Email:
press@windfair.net
Keywords:
Reuters, USA, decline, coal, decommissioning, fossil, renewable energy, wind, solar, costs, Donald Trump, coal industry, voters



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