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Coal to make up 85% of US power capacity retirements in 2022

11 January 2022

Coal-fired power plants will make up around 85% of US electric generating capacity scheduled to retire in 2022, a new report has said. The US Energy Information Administration says that about 12.6 GW of coal-fired generating capacity was scheduled to be retired this year out of the total 14.9 GW. Natural gas and renewables will likely take up a greater share of supply as a result.

The William H. Zimmer plant in Ohio - Image: Wikimedia/User: Antony-22
The William H. Zimmer plant in Ohio - Image: Wikimedia/User: Antony-22

The Energy Information Administration shared its findings on January 11 saying that the majority of the scheduled retirements are coal-fired power plants (85%), followed by natural gas (8%) and nuclear (5%). An average of 11 GW of coal-fired electric generating capacity was retired per year between 2015-2020, but this dropped to just 4.6 GW in 2021. Despite this, 2022 will likely see around 12.6GW of coal capacity being retired. The largest coal power plant planning to retire in 2022 is the 1,305 MW William H. Zimmer plant in Ohio.

In terms of natural gas, around 1.2 GW of capacity is scheduled for retirement in 2022. This amount is mainly made up of older steam and combustion turbine units. The largest US natural gas plant set to retire in 2022 is the Meramec power plant in Missouri.
The Energy Information Administration says that at 0.8 GW, nuclear capacity retirements represent 5% of expected retirements in 2022 and less than 1% of the operating US nuclear fleet. The retiring nuclear capacity comes from one plant, the Palisades nuclear power facility in Michigan.

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