Coal Plants Might Be Closing Down December 23, 2010 : 5:10 PM

According to Grist:

“Brattle's report digs into the upgrade-or-retire decision every coal plant in the U.S. will soon face, using a "retirement screening tool," and concludes that ...”

“... emerging EPA regulations on air quality and water for coal-fired power plants could result in over 50,000 MW of coal plant retirements and require an investment of up to $180 billion for remaining plants to comply with the likely mandates.”

“Both those numbers go up substantially -- retirements by 11-12 GW and needed investment by $30-50 billion -- if EPA requires cooling towers in addition to smokestack scrubbers. (This is consistent with the FBR Capital Markets report, which finds a total of up to 70,000 MW of coal on the line.)”

“By 2020, the authors say, coal plant closures will reduce coal demand by about 15 percent, increase natural gas demand by about 10 percent, and (assuming the coal is replaced by gas) reduce CO2 emissions by 150 million tons.”