Closing Coal Plants Difficult With Nation's Energy Needs

Across the heartland and the East Coast record heat waves have caused enormous electricity usage, but no blackouts have occurred. Yet there are concerns that EPA regulations that cause older coal plants to shut down could have dire consequences.

Keeping the air conditioners on for eastern utilities are "dozens of 1950s and 1960s coal-burning power plants that dump prodigious amounts of acid gases, soot, mercury and arsenic into the air. Because of new Environmental Protection Agency rules, and some yet to be written, many of those plants are expected to close in coming years."

To be sure, the EPA and private industry differ as to how many coal plants will need to be shuttered due to the new regulations. It could be as low as 1% or as high as 7%. Key will be getting natural gas plants opened to replace them because renewable power has its limitations.

"So much of the generating capacity added around the country lately is wind power, which is almost useless on the hot, still days when air-conditioning drives up demand." One utility assessed "a 100-megawatt wind farm as being worth only 13 megawatts on a peak summer day."

Full Story: New Rules and Old Plants May Strain Summer Energy Supplies

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Woman wearing city map tote bag

City Shoulder Totes - New Cities Added!

Durable CityFabric© shoulder tote bags available from 9 different cities.
$22.00
Red necktie with map of Boston

Tie one on to celebrate your city

Choose from over 20 styles of neckties imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95