A large number of coal-fired power plants will be shut down over the next two years.
Many applaud this as progress, though real progress would have been to build ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plants in a planned program to replace old plants.
With the current very low price for natural gas, it’s reasonable to conclude that we can afford to shut down old coal-fired power plants and replace them with natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) plants and not worry about ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plants.
An earlier article established that 167 old coal-fired power plants could be shut down without endangering our supply of electricity – providing they weren’t closed too quickly.
During the next few years the price of natural gas will rise, to the point where coal would again be competitive.
It would then be wise to consider building ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plants, and allow market forces to make the…
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