Amerikanske kulfyrede kraftværker lukkede ned i 2019 i det næsthurtigste tempo nogensinde, på trods af præsident Donald Trumps bestræbelser på at støtte industrien. Dwt viser data fra den USA´ og Thomson Reuters.
Kraftselskaber lukkede eller konverterede ca. 15.100 megawatt (MW) kulfyret elproduktion, nok til at drive omkring 15 millioner hjem, ifølge data fra statistikker fra Energy Information Administration og Reuters.
Det var kun i 2015 – Barack Obamas administration – at nedlukninger har været større, nmelig 19.300 MW.
Reuters skriver, at “The replacement of coal with power generation from natural gas and renewables has cut total U.S. carbon emissions in four of the past five years. Gas emits about half the carbon dioxide, a leading contributor to global warming, as coal.
The coal industry has been in steep decline for a decade due to competition from cheap and abundant gas and subsidized solar and wind energy, along with rising public concern over coal’s contribution to climate change.
Trump has downplayed climate change threats and sought to revive the coal industry to fulfill pledges to voters in coal mining states like West Virginia and Wyoming, mainly by rolling back Obama-era environmental protections.
Still, since entering office in 2017, an estimated 39,000 MW of coal-fired power plant capacity has shut.
If that trend continues, more coal plants will have shut during the first four years (2017-2020) of the Trump administration – an estimated 46,600 MW – than during Obama’s second term (2013-2016) – around 43,100 MW.