(An excerpt from the Platts news service:)
Up to 40 GW of additional coal plant retirements over the next two decades will result from regulations proposed by the US Environmental Protection Agency, consultancy ICF International said Monday in its third quarter Energy Outlook.
The report is a far cry from the consultancy's first quarter report, which estimated that 68 GW of coal-fired plant retirements would occur over the same period due to the series of expected regulations...
"I think everybody's projections are evolving as the regulations change and as we learn about what will be contained in the forthcoming regulations," said Managing Director John Blaney, who helped oversee publication of the report...
Another, newer realization by the authors is that the coal plant retirements won't affect coal consumption by utilities as much as previously thought.
"It's a couple of things," Blaney said. "First, most of the retirements are among smaller and older [plants] that are already running at lower capacity factors, so they'll have proportionally less of an impact on demand than expected. And some of the existing plants will ramp up to meet extra demand."
(Here is more on the report: http://www.icfi.com/news/2011/third-quarter-2011-integrated-energy-outlook )