Almost all energy plants that late in a past decade were powered by hoary fuels

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Nearly all of a utility-scale energy plants in a United States that were late from 2008 by 2017 were fueled by hoary fuels. Of a sum late capacity, spark energy plants and healthy gas steam turbines accounted for a top percentages, 47% and 26%, respectively. Most of a designed retirements by 2020 will also be spark plants and healthy gas steam turbines, formed on information reported to EIA.

Various factors change a preference to retire a energy plant. For example, a spark energy plants late given 2008 were comparatively aged and small, averaging 52 years and 105 megawatts (MW), compared with a swift of spark plants still operating, during 39 years and 319 MW. Other successful factors embody changes in informal electricity use, sovereign or state policies that impact plant operation, and state policies that need or inspire a use of certain fuels such as renewables.

Improving technologies also play a partial in plant retirement decisions though might not change a altogether use of any one fuel. For example, comparison healthy gas steam turbine technologies might retire, even as newer, some-more efficient, and operationally stretchable technologies such as healthy gas-fired combined-cycle and combustion-turbine ability are being built.

Illustration by U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The Western, Texas, and Eastern interconnections comprise a energy grid of a Lower 48 states. The Western Interconnection covers a area from a Rocky Mountains to a Pacific Coast. The Electricity Reliability Council of Texas covers many of Texas. The Eastern Interconnection covers a area easterly of a Rocky Mountains and includes some tools of Texas. In this analysis, states are grouped to roughly simulate a 3 interconnections.

Illustration by U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The Eastern segment contains many of a U.S. electricity generating capacity—736 gigawatts (GW) of a nation’s 1,076 GW, as of Oct 2017. The East had a largest share of ability retirements in a past 10 years compared with a Western and Texas regions, during 10% of Eastern segment capacity. Coal-fired ability in sold was disproportionally influenced in this region, as 19% of a Eastern region’s spark ability late in a past decade, compared with 17% of a inhabitant spark capacity.

Illustration by U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Of a 3 regions in a U.S. energy grid, Texas has a slightest volume of generating capacity, totaling 123 GW as of Oct 2017. Since 2008, many retirements in Texas were generators that used healthy gas steam and petroleum technologies. During that period, a sum of 35% of Texas healthy gas-fired steam turbine ability and 66% of petroleum ability retired. Coal retirements totaling 532 megawatts (MW) accounted for 2% of sum commissioned spark ability in Texas. However, Texas is approaching to have 5,583 MW of spark retirements in 2018, formed on designed retirement dates reported to EIA.

Illustration by U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The Western segment of a United States has about 217 GW of handling capacity. San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Units 2 and 3 supposing 2.1 GW (23%) of a Western region’s chief ability before their retirement in 2013. Since 2008, healthy gas steam turbine retirements accounted for 46% of a region’s commissioned healthy gas steam capacity.

Source: EIA

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