IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2017 - 18

year is quite different. Gerry Anderson,
CEO of DTE Energy (I still call it Detroit Edison) and environmental chief
at EEI, spoke about his company's recent carbon planning. "I really feel in
many ways that our sector would be
well served to get out in front of this
and let the world know that we've got
this one-we will deal with this issue,"
he stated.
He said that DTE discovered, during their planning process for the CPP,
that it could affordably cut carbon 80%
from 2005 levels by 2050. "We learned
there's no sucker's choice here," he
said. "You can have a healthy economy and a healthy environment at the
same time." This is a very powerful
statement coming from a spokesman
for a very traditional industry known
primarily for its conservative philosophy. And Anderson also said that his
position is not an outlier in the electric

18

ieee power & energy magazine

power sector. We have a carbon policy,
whether we say we do or not.
The days of coal are numbered.
And the funny thing is that it has little
to do with regulation and a lot to do
with economics. The age of coal is
simply coming to an end. As recently
as 2006 we were still getting 50% of
our electric energy from coal; by 2016,
just ten years later, it had dropped to
31%. According to EIA projections, a
further decrease to 15-20% by 2025
is possible as renewables and gas continue to make strong inroads. The situation is trending in the same direction
in Europe, while the outlook for coal
consumption in the major economies
of India and China is a little different.
Current projections show them peaking in their coal production by the mid
2020s and declining thereafter. In just
a year's time, from 2016 to 2017, global
preconstruction activity on coal plants

was down by 48%, from a pipeline of
1,090 GW to 570 GW. Coal has powered the economies of the past, but it is
being replaced by renewables and natural gas for the future.

The New Baseload Power
As I am writing this editorial, the U.S.
Department of Energy, at the direction
of Secretary of Energy Richard Perry,
is undertaking a review of baseload
power in the organized markets of the
United States, due to a concern that renewable energy subsidies may be putting baseload power plants (nuclear and
coal) at a competitive disadvantage and
threatening system reliability. I cannot
help but be reminded of a slide shown
by Xcel Energy at a UVIG meeting a
few years ago, showing the transition
from a low renewables scenario, where
wind energy provided a small amount of
peaking energy at the top of the dispatch

november/december 2017



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2017

IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2017 - Cover1
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2017 - Cover2
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2017 - 1
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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2017 - Cover3
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2017 - Cover4
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