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US coal comes under continued pressure – report

Reduced capacity factors and increasing renewable generation mean trend is accelerating

Nearly three-quarters of US coal capacity is either operationally uneconomic or slated for retirement, according to a report from San Francisco-based research and analysis firm Energy Innovation. This is a significant increase from 2018, when 62pc of coal capacity was deemed to be in these categories. US coal’s profit margins are being eroded for a number of reasons, according to Eric Gimon, policy adviser with Energy Innovation and one of the report's authors. “It is several things,” he says. “Solar costs keep coming down, and solar is broadly available across the US. So part of the story is the reduced cost of renewables. The other part is that the coal plants are running far less.”

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