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View Diary: More Coal Woes: Always a Fun Diary to Write (42 comments)

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  •  Well, coal to green was NEVER going to happen (6+ / 0-)

    The economics were so stacked against it.

    We need a transition fuel and yes fracking has all kinds of inherent problems, no one disputes that, but it has helped crater the coal market right when we needed it to in order to get traction in the renewable marketspace.

    In 2000, the US generated 52% of its energy from coal.  If you would have said then that in less than 15 years wind and solar would be able to compete with coal head-to-head on price point, even WITH the coal subsidies, people would have assumed you had no idea what the hell you were talking about.

    And yet Austin Energy just signed a 25-year contract to get solar energy at 5¢ per kWh.  Natural Gas came in at 7¢, Coal at 10¢ and Nuclear at 13¢ in the bidding process.

    Natural Gas is going to take a while to beat out because of the supply boom, the massive infrastructure investments going on and the utter lack of fracking regulation.  But if renewables can ramp up by stealing market share from coal a better approach to combatting gas will be to start making inroads on the carbon subsidies which, if removed, would tilt the marketspace away from gas rather dramatically.

    You can't have that conversation though when your "future forward solution" is still in single digit percentages of total generation.

    Btw... in 2012, Coal was down to 37% of total generation and dropped a bit more in 2013.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:52:15 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah OK, that sounds good, but (0+ / 0-)

      exactly what does this mean?

      City-owned Austin Energy is about to sign a 25-year PPA with Sun Edison for 150 megawatts of solar power at "just below" 5 cents per kilowatt-hour
      What I'm getting at, from the information given it is impossible to ascertain just how much (or even a ballpark figure) of how much electricity they actually anticipate sourcing this way.

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