The Latest

With the economy still faltering three years after the financial crisis began, the energy industry is still reeling from the hit as consumers dial back their energy-intensive practices. Keep reading →

There seems to be some uncertainty whether the United States is the Saudi Arabia of natural gas, the Saudi Arabia of coal. Perhaps as President Obama says in this video, its “both, and” not “either, or.”

The President is talking about energy policy, but its interesting to remember that the Administration has acknowledged the centrality of coal, which continues to generate roughly half of US electricity, despite a sustained focus on renewable fuels. Keep reading →


The electricity grid of the future needs to be flexible in order to integrate growing use of renewables, a new book from the International Energy Agency (IEA) says.

In Harnessing Variable Renewables: A Guide to the Balancing Challenge, the agency uses case studies of eight geographic regions, each facing unique energy challenges, to develop a four-step Flexibility Assessment (FAST) method. Keep reading →

Representatives for two groups of power generators were sharply divided over the federal government’s plans for reducing emissions of mercury and other toxics from power stations.

At a Philadelphia hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposals for limiting emissions from coal- and oil-fired power plants, the spokesmen presented dramatically different views on whether the plans are financially and technically achievable or are the result of flawed analysis that overstates economic benefits and imposes heavy costs on the industry. Keep reading →

With its latest new product announcement, globe-spanning conglomerate GE is trying to solve several of the electricity sector’s most pressing challenges at once.

The new FlexEfficiency 50 Combined Cycle Power Plant design was announced today in Paris, amid claims that the unit’s ability to quickly cycle up to full power and operate at a very high 61% operating efficiency make it a game changer in the industry. Keep reading →

The only way for utilities to meet demand as they retire coal-fired power plants will be to build a host of new natural-gas fired units, Deutsche Bank Vice President and Climate Change Research Analyst Nils Mellquist says in this Breaking Energy podcast.

Mellquist speaks here with Breaking Energy’s Felicity Carus after a presentation at the Ceres conference in California where he said the US had the potential to become the “Saudi Arabia of gas.” Keep reading →

Live tweeting: @petergardett “Much of today’s power generation was built for yesterday’s grid” says #GE VP Steve Bolze in Paris now @AOLenergy

For decades, the coal industry has hummed quietly along, producing half of the electricity used in the U.S. We’ve kept ourselves out of the media, comfortable with our role as one of the country’s key energy resources. We “knew” that, despite the occasional bit of bad press, no one would ever seriously consider getting rid of coal-based energy.

Something has changed. Keep reading →


Coal remains the workhorse of the US electricity sector, but its future is murkier than ever.

The industry has been on a campaign for nearly a decade to educate Americans about the extent to which their electricity comes from coal, but have had difficulty turning that into a wider recognition of the contributions comparatively cheap power have made in boosting US economic performance. Keep reading →

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