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October 29, 2020
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    Coal Industry News (within the year)

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    • Coal Baron and Trump Influencer Dies at 80
      He Fought Government Regulations
      and Wielded Considerable Political
      Influence as a Trump Ally.

      (NY Times Climate Forward), Oct. 27, 2020 -Robert E. Murray, the son of a coal miner who became one of the nation痴 most powerful coal barons, along the way fighting worker-safety and environmental regulations and lending major support to President Trump, died on Sunday at his home in St. Clairsville, Ohio. He was 80.

      His lawyer and close friend Michael J. Shaheen said the cause was complications of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a stiffening of lung tissues that required Mr. Murray to breathe with the help of a portable oxygen tank. He had lived with the condition for years.

      The company he founded, Murray Energy, became the nation痴 largest privately owned coal producer, employing about 8,000 people in six states and in Colombia at its peak before declaring bankruptcy last year and re-emerging under a new name.

      Click now to read all about it.
    • Coal Will Be Gone in Oregon
      PGE Will End Coal-
      Fired Generation in that State

      (POWERGRID International), Oct. 16, 2020 -Portland General Electric Company this week announced it has permanently shuttered its Boardman Generating Station in Eastern Oregon痴 Morrow County.

      The closure fulfills a groundbreaking agreement PGE reached with stakeholders, customer groups and regulators in 2010 to significantly reduce air emissions from power production in Oregon by ending operations at Boardman 20 years ahead of schedule and transitioning to cleaner energy resources. Boardman is the only coal-fired power plant in Oregon.

      PGE has a 90% ownership share of the plant. Idaho Power owns the remaining 10%.

      Click now to read on.
    • Another 6800 MW of Coal Plants for the Ash Heap
      Good Riddance

      (Energy Central), Oct. 6, 2020 - Vistra announces more coal closures and a move to renewables; LONGi bringing 12 GWs of annual manufacturing online to produce 540 watt bi-facial modules; Dominion/Orsted commission 12 MW Virginia offshore wind project; FERC holds hearings on carbon pricing

      1) Vistra to retire 6,800 MW of coal plants in IL & OH, bringing total of existing or planned retirements to 16,000 MW change in leadership in 2016. It also announces portfolio of nearly 1,000 MW of solar, storage, and solar+storage, mostly in ERCOT.

      2) Major cell/module maker LONGi achieves volume production - 12 GW - for 540 w bifacial Hi-MO5 series module @ 21% conversion efficiency. Back side offers another 15% additional total energy gain. Put into context, 2019 U.S. solar was 13.3 GW.

      Click now for more information.
    • Contura Energy Will Accelerate Exit From Thermal Coal Business
      It Cites Global Transition
      Away From Fossil Fuels

      Aug. 10, 2020 ( OhioValleyResource.org) -A major Ohio Valley coal producer announced last week it will speed up its exit from producing coal used to generate electricity. In a call with shareholders last week, Contura Energy, Inc., said the move is tied to the ongoing global transition away from fossil fuels.

      展e recognize that the world is transitioning toward an economy that relies less on fossil fuels for power generation, and we therefore have accelerated our strategic exit from thermal coal mining, said CEO David Stetson.

    • Europe: So Long Coal Energy
      Europe Increasingly Focuses
      On Coal-Free Future

      July 23, 2020,(ZME SCIENCE)- Clean energy sources such as bioenergy, wind, solar, and hydro have generated 40% of the electricity in Europe in the first half of the year, the first time such a figure is reached. Renewables appear to overtake fossil fuels, which generated 34% of the electricity in the European bloc.

      The independent think-tank Ember published its half-yearly report, which showed Europe痴 long goodbye to coal is finally speeding up. The transition is being helped by the rise of wind and solar power, as well as the energy policy that has priced the fossil fuels out of many European markets.

      Click now for the whole story.

    • Environmentalists: No Coal Mining on Public Lands
      Coalition of States, Environmentalists
      Sue Feds Over Planned Coal Leases

      July 21, 2020,(Missoula CURRENT)- A large coalition of states, environmental organizations and the Northern Cheyenne Tribe have filed fresh challenges against the Trump administration痴 decision to open millions of acres of public lands up for new coal leasing and mining.

      Environmentalists including the Citizens for Clean Energy, Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club sued the U.S. Department of the Interior and Bureau of Land Management as part of an ongoing dispute that began in 2017 over the government痴 decision to open up public lands to coal leasing.

      Click now for the rest of the story.

    • Coronavirus Recovery: Exclude Coal
      UN Calls On Governments
      to Ditch Coal From Their
      Coronavirus Recovery Plans

      July 10, 2020,(ZME SCIENCE) -As the world starts thinking of the day after the coronavirus pandemic, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has asked countries to stop financing the coal industry in order to have a more sustainable future. So far, many seem to be missing the point, he warned.

      鼎oal has no place in Covid-19 recovery plans, he said yesterday during an online summit hosted by the International Energy Agency (IEA). More than 40 government ministers from countries around the world participated in the conference, representing 80% of the global energy use and emissions.

      Click now to read or listen to the story.

    • Britain's Coal Future
      British Energy Shift萌oodbye Coal

      June 18, 2020,(Energy Central) -The UK's grid has gone for a record-breaking two months without coal-fired generation

      Since the 1880's Britain has relied on coal-fired electricity generation. On Wednesday 10th June, Britain hit a significant landmark: the country went for two entire months without burning coal to generate power.

      According to the UK's National Grid, the electricity network has now run without burning coal since midnight on the 9th April. This coal-free period has beaten the country痴 previous record of 18 days, six hours and ten minutes, which was set in June 2019.

    • India Doubles Down on Solar, Gas at Coal's Expense
      Solar and Gas Up, Coal Down in India

      May 3, 2020 (REUTERS) -India痴 solar and gas-fired electricity generation rose in April even as overall power demand fell at the steepest monthly rate in at least thirteen years, a Reuters analysis of provisional government data showed.

      Solar-powered electricity generation rose 16.9%, accounting for a record 5.6% of the country痴 total output, while gas-fired power output was 13.7% higher, an analysis of daily load despatch data from state-run power operator POSOCO showed. However, wind-powered electricity generation fell 11.4%.

    • Renewables Overtake Coal For the First Time
      Renewable Energy Is Poised
      to Eclipse Coal in U.S.

      May 13, 2020 (NY Times Climate Forward)- The United States is on track to produce more electricity this year from renewable power than from coal for the first time on record, new government projections show, a transformation partly driven by the coronavirus pandemic, with profound implications in the fight against climate change.

      It is a milestone that seemed all but unthinkable a decade ago, when coal was so dominant that it provided nearly half the nation痴 electricity. And it comes despite the Trump administration痴 three-year push to try to revive the ailing industry by weakening pollution rules on coal-burning power plants.

    • Coal Generation Takes a Back Seat in Britain
      Britain Breaks Coal-Free
      Power Generation Record

      Apr. 28, 2020 (The Guardian) -Britain has gone without coal-fired power generation for its longest stretch since the Industrial Revolution, breaking the existing record of 18 consecutive days this morning.

      The UK痴 energy system has not used coal-fired plants for more than 438 hours, according to National Grid data, the longest uninterrupted period since 1882.

    • The No-Conscience Coal Industry Strikes Again
      Coal Industry Aims to
      Exploit Coronavirus Crisis To Cut
      Payments To Miners With Black Lung

      Apr. 11, 2020 (RawStory) - Some of the largest coal companies in the United States are using the coronavirus crisis to pressure Congress to slash the tax that finances the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, a lifeline for more than 20,000 miners whose lung disease makes them more vulnerable to COVID-19.

      The Washington Post reported this week that the National Mining Association (NMA), a trade group that represents the biggest U.S. coal operators still standing, 殿sked Congress last month for a 55% cut in the excise tax for the trust fund, and a suspension of another fee that pays to clean up abandoned mines. Altogether the operators say they could save about $220 million.

    • Hasn't Japan Suffered Enough From Bad Climate Policies?
      Japan Races to Build
      New Coal-Burning Power Plants,
      Despite the Climate Risks

      Feb. 1, 2020 (NY Times Climate Forward) - Just beyond the windows of Satsuki Kanno痴 apartment overlooking Tokyo Bay, a behemoth from a bygone era will soon rise: a coal-burning power plant, part of a buildup of coal power that is unheard-of for an advanced economy.

      It is one unintended consequence of the Fukushima nuclear disaster almost a decade ago, which forced Japan to all but close its nuclear power program. Japan now plans to build as many as 22 new coal-burning power plants one of the dirtiest sources of electricity at 17 different sites in the next five years, just at a time when the world needs to slash carbon dioxide emissions to fight global warming.

    • A New Clean Use for Former Coal Plants
      Coal-fired Power Plants
      Finding New Uses As Data
      Centers, Clean Energy Hubs

      Mar. 24, 2020 (POWERGRID) - As coal-fired power plants become uneconomic and are shut down for good, a new sort of recycling industry is taking shape: the repurposing of those plants.

      Utilities across the country are finding ways to redevelop abandoned fossil-fueled sites. In January, Beloit College in Wisconsin began operating a student union and recreation center in a structure where Alliant Energy formerly burned coal to produce power.

      On the southern coast of Massachusetts, a former 1,600-megawatt coal plant is being demolished to make way for a logistical port and support center for wind turbines expected to be erected about 35 miles off shore.

    • Nevada Saying "Goodbye" to Coal
      Nevada to Eliminate Coal by 2025

      Feb. 26, 2020 (Energy Central) Nevada Gold Mines (NGM) says it has approved the conversion of its TS Coal Power Plant to a dual fuel process, allowing the facility to generate power from natural gas.

      As part of its overall energy management strategy, NGM is also reviewing the potential for a 200 MW solar facility with battery storage. The intention is to phase construction, initially installing 100 MW that could produce power as early as 2022. A study is currently underway and, once the project is approved, NGM will work with the State of Nevada and the Office of Energy on permitting, it said.

    • Japan Is Not Getting the Message on Coal
      Japan Races to Build
      New Coal-Burning Power
      Plants, Despite the Climate Risks

      Feb. 3, 2020 (New York Times Climate Forward) Just beyond the windows of Satsuki Kanno痴 apartment overlooking Tokyo Bay, a behemoth from a bygone era will soon rise: a coal-burning power plant, part of a buildup of coal power that is unheard-of for an advanced economy.

      It is one unintended consequence of the Fukushima nuclear disaster almost a decade ago, which forced Japan to all but close its nuclear power program. Japan now plans to build as many as 22 new coal-burning power plants one of the dirtiest sources of electricity at 17 different sites in the next five years, just at a time when the world needs to slash carbon dioxide emissions to fight global warming.

    • Indonesia Jumps on the 'Ban Ol King Coal' Bandwagon
      Indonesia Plans to Replace
      Old Coal Power Plants
      With Renewable Plants

      Jan. 30, 2020 (REUTERS)悠ndonesian government plans to remove old coal-fired power plants with plants using renewable energy, the country痴 Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arifin Tasrif said on Thursday.

      He said the country will replace coal power plants aged 20 years and older.

      撤erusahaan Listrik Negara is taking inventory of those plants that will be replaced by renewable energy plants, Tasrif said, referring to state electricity utility company.

    • Germany's Uniper to Quit Coal by 2025
      Uniper to Shut Down German
      Hard-Coal Power Plants by 2025

      Jan. 30, 2020 (REUTERS)Uniper aims to close most of its German hard coal-fired power plants over the next five years, accounting for half its European coal capacity, the utility said on Thursday.

      The German cabinet on Wednesday backed plans to exit coal as an energy source by 2038 as part of efforts by Chancellor Angela Merkel痴 ruling coalition to protect the climate and restore its green credentials.

      For a start, Uniper, formed in 2016 after being spun off from E.ON, has drawn up plans to shut down about 1.5 gigawatts of capacity involving three blocks at its Scholven plant plus the Wilhelmshaven power station by the end of 2022, it said.

    • New Mexico Coal Plants: Hate to See You Go
      Tri-State to Close NM,
      CO Coal Plants

      Jan. 10, 2020 (Energy Central)-A new plan from Tri-State, approved by their board yesterday and released today, will close the Escalante coal plant this year. The plant is located in Prewitt, New Mexico, between Grants and Gallup. The Craig station in northern Colorado will close by 2030.

      The plan will eliminate Tri-State痴 New Mexico and Colorado coal generation and bring significant emissions reductions in both states. It will also mean immediate economic changes for the workers and communities of western New Mexico that will require quick, creative and collaborative action to support new economic opportunities.

      The closures represent a continuation of the clear economic trend away from coal generation and towards renewable energy.

    • Coal Power Generation on the ERCOT Grid Continues to Drop
      ERCOT Coal Generation
      Drops 17% in 2019

      Jan. 7, 2020 (Energy Central)-Just a few years ago(2013/14) coal generated almost 125 TWh on ERCOT. In 2019, generation from coal was down to 78 TWh. This was a drop of 17% vs 2018.

      The 470 MW Gibbons Creek coal plant was shut down in 2019 and the 670MW Oklaunion coal plant will close in 2020. With large amounts of wind still being added to the grid and solar finaly starting to take hold in Texas - I would expect these coal retirements to continue and coal generation in TX to drop much further this decade. Close to zero.

    • Renewables Did Better Than Coal in 2019
      2019: Bad for Coal,
      Good for Wind and Solar

      Dec.20, 2019 (Energy Central- Despite a relaxation in environmental regulations and heavy government promotion, 2019 saw coal continue its multi-year power production decline in the US. Renewables now produce on the same order of MWh as coal, which is quite a change from just a few years ago when coal accounted for 50%+ US electricity production. Coal's demise can be attributed to the low cost of natural gas and the rise of low cost renewables. The economics are compelling. Looking to the new year and beyond, the US Department of Energy projects that coal plant retirements will continue unabated.

      On the upside, 2019 saw wind and solar installation and investment at extraordinarily high levels. One of the more encouraging developments was East Coast states award of conventional offshore programs, including New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and others. This

    • Converting Coal Plants to Biomass Is No Solution
      Converting Coal Plants to
      Biomass Could Fuel Climate
      Crisis, Scientists Warn

      Dec. 16, 2019  (The Guardian)- Plans to shift Europe痴 coal plants to burning wood pellets instead could accelerate rather than combat the climate crisis and lay waste to woodland equal to half the size of Germany痴 Black Forest a year, according to campaigners.

      The climate thinktank Sandbag said the heavily subsidized plans to cut carbon emissions would result in a 都taggering amount of tree cutting, potentially destroying forests faster than they can regrow.

    • Luring Coal Countries Off a B-a-d Habit
      E.U. Climate Plan Would
      Sweeten Deal for Coal Countries

      Dec. 11, 2019  (New York Times Climate Forward)- The European Commission introduced on Wednesday its centerpiece climate strategy that, if approved, would pivot the world痴 third-biggest polluter to climate-friendly economic policies and nudge coal-reliant nations with payouts worth billions of euros.

      Known as the Green Deal, the plan would require many European Union member states to radically change how they operate their economies and find new livelihoods for millions of citizens, risking a continent-wide backlash akin to the 添ellow Vest protest movement that has riled France.

    • South Korea Retiring Coal Plants Left and Right
      S.Korea to Close 6 Older
      Coal-Fired Power Plants by 2021

      Nov 1, 2019  (Reuters)祐outh Korea痴 six older coal-fired power plants will be retired by 2021, a year earlier than previously planned, as part of the country痴 ongoing efforts to curb air pollution, the prime minister痴 office said on Friday.

      South Korea, Asia痴 fourth-largest economy, runs some 60 coal-fired power plants, generating around 40% of the country痴 electricity, but coal has been blamed for worsening air quality in the country.

      The six older coal-fired power plants account for 7% of the total installed coal power capacity, or 2.6 gigawatts, according to Reuters calculations based on data from Korea Electric Power Corp.

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