Supreme Court’s EPA decision will have little effect on utility move away from coal-fired plants: analysts

Read the full story in Utility Dive.

The Supreme Court’s finding last week that the Environmental Protection Agency cannot use “generation shifting” as envisioned in the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan will have little effect on utility plans to shift away from coal-fired power plants to renewables, according to analysts.

Power plant retirement decisions are largely driven by economics, and the relative economic attractiveness of renewables has widened this year given the rapid increase in natural gas, coal and power prices, Morgan Stanley & Co. analysts said in a July 6 research note.

Also, existing and pending EPA rules will likely continue to be a major factor in coal plant retirements, according to Julia Criscuolo, ESAI Power director of renewables and emissions. “Going forward, the EPA will likely look to achieve [greenhouse gas] reductions as ‘co-benefits’ of several other rules,” Criscuolo said Friday in an email.

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