||This article may be unbalanced towards certain viewpoints. (April 2013)|
Fossil fuel phase-out is the proposed energy transition beyond fossil fuels through multiple means, including transport electrification, decommissioning of operating fossil fuel-fired power plants and prevention of the construction of new fossil-fuel-fired power stations. Its purpose is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions which according to the scientific consensus are the major cause of current climate change. A move to the many forms of renewable energy is involved in shifting away from fossil fuels.
Renewable energy is energy that comes from resources which are naturally replenished such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves and geothermal heat. As of 2012, 17% of global final energy consumption comes from renewable resources, with 8.5% of all energy from traditional biomass, mainly used for heating, and 3.3% from hydroelectricity. Other renewables (small hydro, modern biomass, wind, solar, geothermal, and biofuels) accounted for another 4.9% and are growing rapidly. The share of renewables in electricity generation is 20%, with 15% of electricity coming from hydroelectricity and 5% from other renewables.
Studies about coal phase out and climate change 
In 2008, James E. Hansen and eight other scientists published the 38-page journal article "Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim?" which called for phasing out coal power completely by the year 2030.
Also in 2008, Pushker Kharecha and James E. Hansen published a peer-reviewed scientific study analyzing the effect of a coal phase-out on atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels. Their baseline mitigation scenario was a phaseout of global coal emissions by 2050. The authors describe the scenario as follows:
- The second scenario, labeled Coal Phase-out, is meant to approximate a situation in which developed countries freeze their CO2 emissions from coal by 2012 and a decade later developing countries similarly halt increases in coal emissions. Between 2025 and 2050 it is assumed that both developed and developing countries will linearly phase out emissions of CO2 from coal usage. Thus in Coal Phase-out we have global CO2 emissions from coal increasing 2% per year until 2012, 1% per year growth of coal emissions between 2013 and 2022, flat coal emissions for 2023–2025, and finally a linear decrease to zero CO2 emissions from coal in 2050. These rates refer to emissions to the atmosphere and do not constrain consumption of coal, provided the CO2 is captured and sequestered. Oil and gas emissions are assumed to be the same as in the BAU [Business as Usual] scenario.
Kharecha and Hansen also consider three other mitigation scenarios, all with the same coal phase-out schedule but each making different assumptions about the size of oil and gas reserves and the speed at which they are depleted. Under the Business as Usual scenario, atmospheric CO2 peaks at 563 parts per million (ppm) in the year 2100. Under the four coal phase-out scenarios, atmospheric CO2 peaks at 422-446 ppm between 2045 and 2060 and declines thereafter. The key implications of the study are as follows: a phase-out of coal emissions is the most important remedy for mitigating human-induced global warming; actions should be taken toward limiting or stretching out the use of conventional oil and gas; and strict emissions-based constraints are needed for future use of unconventional fossil fuels such as methane hydrates and tar sands.
A significant portion of total global carbon emissions are from electricity generation - coal, specifically, accounts for up to one-third of global carbon emissions. So to decrease carbon emissions and thus possibly stop extreme climate change from occurring, coal should be phased out. Consequently, in April 2008, James E. Hansen said "We need a moratorium on coal now...with phase-out of existing plants over the next two decades."
This course of action is being undertaken by several governments. Germany is an example of a country that is phasing out coal Solar and wind are major sources of energy and renewable energy generation, currently around 15%, and growing. Coal is still a source of power in Germany, but it is gradually being replaced with renewable energy. Globally, coal is one the largest sources of energy in the world. During 2006, 27 percent of the world's primary energy is generated from the burning of coal. As a way to phase out coal, a few countries, in which coal is primary source of energy, have enacted legislation to prevent the construction of any new coal facilities and to close operating coal fired facilities. Also in several such countries, initiatives have been started to support the viability of the renewable energy industry to replace decommissioned coal facilities. However, many other countries, such as the United States and Great Britain, but especially China, increased coal production to aid their economic advance. Both China and India have large reserves of coal, but relatively little oil and natural gas, and are heavily dependent on coal for electricity generation. According to Scientific American, the average coal plant emits more than 100 times as much radiation per year than a comparatively sized nuclear power plant does, in the form of toxic, radioactive fly ash.
Some believe that coal should not be phased out and that clean coal technology is the way all emission from the burning of coal can be restrained. But the renewable energy infrastructure, unlike unproven carbon-capture technology, is being deployed now. Some environmentalists and climatologists support a phase-out and criticise clean coal as not a solution to climate change, while entrepreneurs promote improved regulations and modernised technology. Others point out that such a policy would affect developing countries most seriously because of the scarcity of other fossil fuels.
Legislation and initiatives to phase out coal 
The 20 leaders of the world's top industrialized nations, as well as key countries with developing economies, have agreed to phase out their subsidies for fossil fuels, including coal. In a concluding statement from the Group of 20 (G20) Summit—held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on September 24 and 25, 2009 —the nations' leaders agreed to "phase out and rationalize over the medium term inefficient fossil fuel subsidies." The G20 leaders also called for targeted support for poor people that would be impacted by higher prices for fossil fuels. The leaders noted that "inefficient" fossil-fuel subsidies "encourage wasteful consumption, reduce our energy security, impede investment in clean energy sources, and undermine efforts to deal with the threat of climate change." The agreement will ultimately phase out nearly $300 billion in global subsidies for fossil fuels. And as noted in a White House fact sheet, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Energy Agency estimate that eliminating fossil fuel subsidies worldwide would cut global greenhouse gas emissions by 10% or more by 2050.
Despite such pledges, a 2012 report by Oil Change International which analyzed 2011 spending by the world's wealthy nations found five times as much being spent on fossil fuel subsidies than climate aid: $58 billion was spent in fossil fuel subsidies that year, as compared with $11 billion spent by such nations towards climate adaptation and mitigation in developing countries, with figures for the U.S. at $13 billion in fossil fuel subsidies versus $2.5 billion in climate aid for 2011.
The Australian Greens party have proposed to phase out coal power stations. The NSW Greens proposed an immediate moratorium on coal-fired power stations and want to end all coal mining and coal industry subsidies. The Federal Government's proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, an emissions trading scheme will, if enacted, make it more difficult for new coal fired power stations to be developed. The Australian Greens and the Australian Labor Party also oppose nuclear power, a proven viable base load power alternative. The Federal Government and Victorian State Government want to modify existing coal-fired power stations into clean coal power stations. The Federal Labor government extended the mandatory renewable energy targets, an initiative to ensure that new sources of electricity are more likely to be from wind power, solar power and other sources of renewable energy in Australia.
Ontario has passed coal phase-out legislation. In 2007, Ontario's Liberal government committed to phasing out all coal generation in the province by 2014. Premier Dalton McGuinty said, "By 2030 there will be about 1,000 more new coal-fired generating stations built on this planet. There is only one place in the world that is phasing out coal-fired generation and we're doing that right here in Ontario."
There are currently no plans to phase out coal burning power stations in the People's Republic of China. In fact, it's quite the reverse.
China’s exceedingly high energy demand has pushed the demand for relatively cheap coal-fired power. Each week, another 2GW of coal-fired power is put online in China. Coal supplies about 80% of China's energy needs today, and that ratio is expected to continue, even as overall power usage grows rapidly.
In addition to the huge investments in coal power, China is also building large nuclear power plants. The largest hydro power plant in the world, the Three Gorges Dam, is also the largest power plant of any kind, and it operates in China.
India is in no way phasing out coal or fossil fuels in general. The annual report of India's Power Ministry has a plan to grow power by about 80GW as part of their 11th 5-year plan, and 79% of that growth will be in fossil-fuel fired power plants, primarily coal. India plans four new "ultra mega" coal-fired power plants as part of that growth, each 4000MW in capacity.
In 2007 German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her party agreed to legislation to phase out Germany's lignite mining sector. That does not mean that they support phasing out coal in general. There are plans to build about 25 new plants in the coming years. Most German coal power plants were built in the 1960s, and have a low energy efficiency. Public sentiment against coal power plants is growing and the construction or planning of some plants has been successfully stopped.
New Zealand 
In October 2007 the Clark Labour government introduced a 10-year moratorium on new fossil fuel thermal power generation. The ban was limited to state-owned utilities, though an extension to private sector was considered. The Key National government elected in November 2008 repealed this legislation.
South Africa 
Around 77% of South Africa's energy demand is directly met by coal, and when current projects come online, this ratio will increase in the near term.
There are no plans to phase out coal fired power plants in South Africa, and indeed, the country is investing in building massive amounts of new coal-fired capacity to meet power demands, as well as modernizing the existing coal-fired plants to meet environmental requirements.
On April 6, 2010, the World Bank approved a $3.75B loan to SA to support the construction of the world's 4th largest coal-fired plant, at Medupi. The proposed World Bank loan includes a relatively small amount - $260 million - for wind and solar power.
Rated at 4800MW, Medupi would join other mammoth coal-fired power plants already in operation in the country, namely Kendal (4100MW), Majuba (4100), and Matimba (4000), as well as a similar-capacity Kusile, at 4800MW, currently under construction. Kusile is expected to come online in stages, starting in 2012, while Medupi is expected to first come online in 2013, with full capacity available by 2017. These schedules are provisional, and may change.
Some estimate that after Kusile and Medupi come online, South Africa will then derive 94% of its domestic energy from coal.
United Kingdom 
Ed Miliband announced that no new coal-fired power stations will be built in Britain from 2009 onwards unless they capture and bury at least 25% of greenhouse gases immediately and 100% by 2025 although at the time this was a statement of intent rather than something he was able to enforce.
The UK is also subject to the EU's Large Combustion Plant Directive covering non-CO2 emissions which is expected to bring many older plants to a close over the next few years as they are too expensive to upgrade.
United States 
In 2007, 154 new coal-fired plants were on the drawing board in 42 states. By 2012, that had dropped to 15, mostly due to new rules limiting mercury emissions, and limiting carbon emissions to 1,000 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour of electricity produced.
California's SB 1368 created the first governmental moratorium on new coal plants in the United States. The law was signed in September 2006 by Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, took effect for investor-owned utilities in January 2007, and took effect for publicly owned utilities in August 2007. SB 1368 applied to long-term investments (five years or more) by California utilities, whether in-state or out-of-state. It set the standard for greenhouse gas emissions at 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour, equal to the emissions of a combined-cycle natural gas plant. This standard created a de facto moratorium on new coal, since it could not be met without carbon capture and sequestration.
On April 15, 2008, Maine Governor John E. Baldacci signed LD 2126, "An Act To Minimize Carbon Dioxide Emissions from New Coal-Powered Industrial and Electrical Generating Facilities in the State." The law, which was sponsored by Rep. W. Bruce MacDonald (D-Boothbay), requires the Board of Environmental Protection to develop greenhouse gas emission standards for coal gasification facilities. It also puts a moratorium in place on building any new coal gasification facilities until the standards are developed.
In 2006 a coalition of Texas groups organized a campaign in favor of a statewide moratorium on new coal-fired power plants. The campaign culminated in a "Stop the Coal Rush" mobilization, including rallying and lobbying, at the state capital in Austin on February 11 and 12th, 2007. Over 40 citizen groups supported the mobilization.
In January, 2007, A resolution calling for a 180-day moratorium on new pulverized coal plants was filed in the Texas Legislature on Wednesday by State Rep. Charles "Doc" Anderson (R-Waco) as House Concurrent Resolution 43. The resolution was left pending in committee. On December 4, 2007, Rep. Anderson announced his support for two proposed integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) coal plants proposed by Luminant (formerly TXU).
Washington state 
Washington has followed the same approach as California, prohibiting coal plants whose emissions would exceed those of natural gas plants. Substitute Senate Bill 6001 (SSB 6001), signed on May 3, 2007, by Governor Christine Gregoire, enacted the standard. As a result of SSB 6001, the Pacific Mountain Energy Center in Kalama was rejected by the state. However, a new plant proposal, the Wallula Energy Resource Center, shows the limits of the "natural gas equivalency" approach as a means of prohibiting new coal plants. The proposed plant would meet the standard set by SSB 6001 by capturing and sequestering a portion (65 percent, according to a plant spokesman) of its carbon.
Utility action in the US 
- Progress Energy Carolinas announced on June 1, 2007, that it was beginning a two-year moratorium on proposals for new coal-fired power plants while it undertook more aggressive efficiency and conservation programs. The company added, "Additional reductions in future electricity demand growth through energy efficiency could push the need for new power plants farther into the future."
- Public Service of Colorado concluded in its November 2007 Resource Plan: "In sum, in light of the now likely regulation of CO2 emissions in the future due to broader interest in climate change issues, the increased costs of constructing new coal facilities,and the increased risk of timely permitting to meet planned in-service dates, Public Service does not believe it would not be prudent to consider at this time any proposals for new coal plants that do not include CO2 capture and sequestration.
- Xcel Energy noted in its 2007 Resource Plan that "given the likelihood of future carbon regulation, we have only modeled a future coal-based resource option that includes carbon capture and storage."
- Minnesota Power Company announced in December 2007 that it would not consider a new coal resource without a carbon solution.
- Avista Utilities announced that it does not anticipate pursuing coal-fired power plants in the foreseeable future.
- NorthWestern Energy announced on December 17, 2007, that it planned to double its wind power capacity over the next seven years and steer away from new baseload coal plants. The plans are detailed in the company's 2007 Montana Electric Supply Resource Plan.
- California Energy Commission (CEC) has initiated its review of two 53.4-megawatt solar thermal power plants that will each include a 40-megawatt biomass power plant to supplement the solar power.
Public support for a coal moratorium 
Opinion polls 
Opinion Research 
In October, 2007, Civil Society Institute released the results of a poll of 1,003 U.S. citizens conducted by Opinion Research Corporation.
The authors of the poll reported: "75 percent of Americans –-including 65 percent of Republicans, 83 percent of Democrats and 76 percent of Independents—would 'support a five-year moratorium on new coal-fired power plants in the United States if there was stepped-up investment in clean, safe renewable energy—such as wind and solar—and improved home energy-efficiency standards.' Women (80 percent) were more likely than men (70 percent) to support this idea. Support also was higher among college graduates (78 percent) than among those who did not graduate from high school (68 percent).
The exact question posed by the survey was as follows: More than half of power plant-generated electricity comes from coal. Experts say that power plants are responsible for about 40 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide pollution linked to global warming. There are plans to build more than 150 new coal-fired power plants over the next several years. Would you support a five-year moratorium on new coal-fired power plants in the United States if there was stepped-up investment in clean, safe and renewable energy –such as wind and solar –and improved home energy-efficiency standards? Would you say definitely yes, probably yes, probably no, definitely no, or don't know.
The results were as follows:
- 30% "definitely yes"
- 45% "probably yes"
- 13% "probably no"
- 8% "definitely no"
- 4% "don't know"
In 2013, the Gallup organization determined that 41% of Americans wanted less emphasis placed on coal energy, versus 31% who wanted more. Large majorities wanted more emphasis placed on solar (76%), wind (71%), and natural gas (65%).
CLEAN call to action 
In October, 2007, fifteen groups led by Citizens Lead for Energy Action Now (CLEAN) called for a five-year moratorium on new coal-fired power plants, with no exception for plants sequestering carbon. The groups included Save Our Cumberland Mountains (Tennessee); Ohio Valley Environmental Council (West Virginia); Cook Inlet Keeper (Alaska); Christians for the Mountains (West Virginia); Coal River Mountain Watch (West Virginia); Kentuckians for the Commonwealth (Kentucky); Civil Society Institute (Massachusetts); Clean Power Now (Massachusetts); Indigenous Environmental Network (Minnesota); Castle Mountain Coalition (Alaska); Citizens Action Coalition (Indiana); Appalachian Center for the Economy & the Environment (West Virginia); Appalachian Voices (NC); and Rhode Island Wind Alliance (Rhode Island).
Other citizen groups supporting a coal moratorium 
- Sierra Club
- Energy Action Coalition
- Rainforest Action Network
- Kansas Sierra Club
- Coal Moratorium Now!
- Step It Up! 2007
- Co-op America
- Rising Tide Australia
- Lead for Energy Action Now (CLEAN)
- Trillium Asset Management, a social investment management company, submitted the resolution "Moratorium on Coal Financing" to Bank of America in the 2007-2008 shareholder resolution season. The resolution concluded:
- "RESOLVED: Shareholders request that BOA’s board of directors amend its GHG emissions policies to observe a moratorium on all financing, investment and further involvement in activities that support MTR coal mining or the construction of new coal-burning power plants that emit carbon dioxide.
Prominent individuals supporting a coal moratorium 
|“||If you're a young person looking at the future of this planet and looking at what is being done right now, and not done, I believe we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration.||”|
- Banker and financier Tom Sanzillo, currently First Deputy Comptroller for the state of New York, called for a moratorium on new coal plants in the state of Iowa. Citing slow growth in electricity demand and better alternative sources of energy, Sanzillo said, "It's not only good public policy, it's great economics."
- Mary Wood, Professor of Law at the University of Oregon, called for a moratorium on new coal plants in a videocast lecture to the University of Montana on February 19, 2008. Wood compared the urgency of the climate crisis to World War II: "Nothing less than a massive global effort on the scale of WWII can save our climate."
Prominent individuals supporting a coal phase-out 
- Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, called for replacing all fossil fuels with renewable sources of energy in twenty years.
EPA lawyers supporting a coal moratorium 
In May, 2008, Laurie Williams and Allan Zabel, two lawyers at the Environmental Protection Agency, wrote a public letter opposing cap-and-trade solutions to greenhouse gas emissions and supporting a federal moratorium on new coal plants that don't sequester their carbon dioxide emissions. The letter, "Urgent Plea for Enactment of Carbon Fees and Ban on New Coal-Fired Power Plants without Carbon Sequestration," was written in their capacity as citizens rather than in their capacity as EPA employees.
Mayors supporting a coal moratorium 
On October 13, 2007, Pocatello, Idaho, mayor Roger Chase told other mayors from across the state attending an Association of Idaho Cities legislative committee that he favored a moratorium no new coal plants in the state.
In January 2008, Charlottesville, VA, mayor Dave Norris blogged in favor of a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants. On December 19, 2007, Charlottesville passed the Charlottesville Clean Energy Resolution putting the city on record as supporting a moratorium.
Other politicians supporting a moratorium 
- Ed Fallon, running against incumbent Leonard Boswell for Democratic Party nomination for Iowa's 3rd Congressional District, stated his support for a coal moratorium and criticized Boswell's statement that "coal will be the mainstay for electricity for decades to come."
Local governmental bodies supporting a coal moratorium 
- In January, 2008, Black Hawk County (Iowa) Health Board recommended that the state adopt a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants until it enacts tougher air pollution standards.
Move toward renewable energy 
Toward wind power 
A wind farm is a group of wind turbines in the same location used to produce electric power. A large wind farm may consist of several hundred individual wind turbines, and cover an extended area of hundreds of square miles, but the land between the turbines may be used for agricultural or other purposes. A wind farm may also be located offshore.
Many of the largest operational onshore wind farms are located in the United States and China. The Gansu Wind Farm in China has over 5,000 MW installed with a goal of 20,000 MW by 2020. China has several other "wind power bases" of similar size. The Alta Wind Energy Center in California, United States is the largest onshore wind farm outside of China, with a capacity of 1020 MW of power. As of February 2012, the Walney Wind Farm in the United Kingdom is the largest offshore wind farm in the world at 367 MW, followed by Thanet Offshore Wind Project (300 MW), also in the United Kingdom. As of February 2012, the Fântânele-Cogealac Wind Farm in Romania is the largest onshore wind farm in Europe at 600 MW.
There are many large wind farms under construction and these include Sinus Holding Wind Farm (700 MW), Anholt Offshore Wind Farm (400 MW), BARD Offshore 1 (400 MW), Clyde Wind Farm (350 MW), Greater Gabbard wind farm (500 MW), Lincs Wind Farm (270 MW), London Array (1000 MW), Lower Snake River Wind Project (343 MW), Macarthur Wind Farm (420 MW), Shepherds Flat Wind Farm (845 MW), and Sheringham Shoal (317 MW).
Toward solar 
Solar photovoltaics 
Solar photovoltaic cells convert sunlight into electricity and many solar photovoltaic power stations have been built. The size of these stations has increased progressively over the last decade with frequent new capacity records.
As of January 2013, the largest individual photovoltaic (PV) power plants in the world are Agua Caliente Solar Project, (Arizona, over 247 MW connected - to increase to 397 MW), Golmud Solar Park (China, 200 MW), Mesquite Solar project (Arizona, 150 MW), Neuhardenberg Solar Park (Germany, 145 MW), Templin Solar Park (Germany, 128 MW), Toul-Rosières Solar Park (France, 115 MW), and Perovo Solar Park (Ukraine, 100 MW). The Charanka Solar Park is a collection of solar power stations of which 214 MW were reported complete in April 2012, on a 2000 ha site. It is part of Gujarat Solar Park, a group of solar farms at various locations in the Gujarat state of India, with overall capacity of 702 MW. There are a total of 570 MW of solar parks in Golmud, with 500 MW more expected in 2012.
Many large plants are under construction. The Desert Sunlight Solar Farm is a 550 MW solar power plant under construction in Riverside County, California, that will use thin-film solar photovoltaic modules made by First Solar. The Topaz Solar Farm is a 550 MW photovoltaic power plant, being built in San Luis Obispo County, California. The Blythe Solar Power Project is a 500 MW photovoltaic station under construction in Riverside County, California. The Agua Caliente Solar Project is a 290 megawatt photovoltaic solar generating facility being built in Yuma County, Arizona. The California Valley Solar Ranch (CVSR) is a 250 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic power plant, which is being built by SunPower in the Carrizo Plain, northeast of California Valley. The 230 MW Antelope Valley Solar Ranch is a First Solar photovoltaic project which is under construction in the Antelope Valley area of the Western Mojave Desert, and due to be completed in 2013.
Many of these plants are integrated with agriculture and some use innovative tracking systems that follow the sun's daily path across the sky to generate more electricity than conventional fixed-mounted systems. Solar power plants have no fuel costs or emissions during operation.
Concentrated solar power 
Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. The concentrated heat is then used as a heat source for a conventional power plant. A wide range of concentrating technologies exists; the most developed are the parabolic trough, the concentrating linear fresnel reflector, the Stirling dish and the solar power tower. Various techniques are used to track the Sun and focus light. In all of these systems a working fluid is heated by the concentrated sunlight, and is then used for power generation or energy storage.
Towards biofuels 
Biofuels, in the form of liquid fuels derived from plant materials, are entering the market, driven by factors such as oil price spikes and the need for increased energy security. However, many of the biofuels that are currently being supplied have been criticised for their adverse impacts on the natural environment, food security, and land use.
The challenge is to support biofuel development, including the development of new cellulosic technologies, with responsible policies and economic instruments to help ensure that biofuel commercialization is sustainable. Responsible commercialization of biofuels represents an opportunity to enhance sustainable economic prospects in Africa, Latin America and Asia.
Biofuels offer the prospect of increased market competition and oil price moderation. A healthy supply of alternative energy sources will help to combat gasoline price spikes and reduce dependency on fossil fuels, especially in the transport sector. Using transportation fuels more efficiently is also an integral part of a sustainable transport strategy.
Toward Biomass 
Using biomass is not a way of reducing atmospheric CO2 levels.
Biomass power is a growing trend in the United States. In 2006, Public Service of New Hampshire finished converting one of its coal-fired power plants into a 50-MW biomass power plant, the Northern Wood Power Project, which is fueled with woodchips. In 2008, DTE Biomass Energy (DTE Energy Company) agreed to buy the 50-MW E.J. Stoneman Power Plant in Cassville, Wisconsin, with plans to convert it to burn wood waste in 2009.
Georgia Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, asked the state's public service commission for approval to convert the coal-fired Plant Mitchell to run on wood fuel. If approved, the retrofit will begin in 2011 and the biomass plant will start operating in mid-2012. The 96-MW biomass plant will run on surplus wood from suppliers within a 100-mile radius of the plant, which is located near Albany, Georgia.
A coal-fired power plant in Pepeekeo, Hawaii, that formerly provided electricity to a sugar mill and has been out of operations since 2004, is seeking approval for conversion into a 24-megawatt (MW) biomass power plant. The plant was renamed the Hū Honua Bioenergy Facility by the lessees of the plant assets. Located about 8 miles north of Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii, the facility will draw on residual wood from the local timber industry and other biomass wastes to produce enough power for about 18,000 homes, meeting up to 10% of the Big Island's electricity needs, and serving as baseload power that will offset diesel generators elsewhere on the Big Island, likely those located in Hilo. The Plant received its Special Management Area permit in May, 2011, and is in the final stage of review for its air permit modification request, which asked the Hawaii Department of Health to allow the facility to burn biomass rather than coal.
Companies are also building new power plants designed to run on biomass.
See also 
- Environmental impact of the coal industry
- Beyond Coal
- Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America's Energy Future
- Burning the Future: Coal in America
- Clear Skies
- The Coal Question
- Electricity generation
- Energy policy
- Georgia Power
- New Source Review
- POLES energy model
- Renewable energy commercialisation
- Politics of global warming
- IPCC. (2007) "Climate change 2007: the physical science basis (summary for policy makers)"
- REN21 (2012). "Renewables 2012: Global Status Report". pp. 21, 23.
- Hansen, J., Mki. Sato, P. Kharecha, D. Beerling, R. Berner, V. Masson-Delmotte, M. Pagani, M. Raymo, D.L. Royer, and J.C. Zachos (2008). "Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim?". Open Atmos. Sci. J. 2: 217–231. arXiv:0804.1126. Bibcode:2008OASJ....2..217H. doi:10.2174/1874282300802010217. Retrieved 2 February 2009.
- Kharecha, P.A., and J.E. Hansen. "Implications of "peak oil" for atmospheric CO2 and climate". Global Biogeochem. Cycles (22): GB3012. arXiv:0704.2782. Bibcode:2008GBioC..22.3012K. doi:10.1029/2007GB003142.
- "Electric Power Monthly - Table 1.1. Net Generation by Energy Source". US Energy Information Administration. 2011-02-14. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
- Kharecha, P.A., and J.E. Hansen, "Implications of "peak oil" for atmospheric CO2 and climate," Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 22, GB3012, doi:10.1029/2007GB003142
- * Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America's Energy Future by Jeff Goodell. 324 pages
- Rosenthal, Elizabeth (23 April 2008). "Europe Turns Back to Coal, Raising Climate Fears". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 11 July 2012. "“We need a moratorium on coal now,” he added, “with phase-out of existing plants over the next two decades.”"
- "Germany to shut down coal mines in 2018". Forbes. January 30, 2007.[dead link]
- "German plan to close coal mines". BBC News. January 29, 2007. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
- World Consumption of Primary Energy by Energy Type and Selected Country Groups December 31, 2008 Microsoft Excel file format table
- Eccleston, Paul (January 3, 2008). "Row over plan for new coal-fired power station". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved May 2, 2010.
- "Coal Ash Is More Radioactive than Nuclear Waste: By burning away all the pesky carbon and other impurities, coal power plants produce heaps of radiation". 2009-05-18. Retrieved 2009-05-18.
- Wealthy Nations' Fossil Fuel Subsidies Are Five Times Greater Than Climate Aid
- Australian Options Magazine, CFMEU on coal phase out
- AllBusiness.com. Ontario's Coal Phase-out Will Have Drastic Consequences, Say The Thinking Companies. February 16, 2005
- "New Zealand issues ten-year ban on new thermal power plants". Power-Gen Worldwide. PennWell Corporation. 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2011-01-07.
- Webster, Ben (April 6, 2010). "Britain may block World Bank loan for coal plant in South Africa". The Times (London). Retrieved May 2, 2010.
- Vidal, John (April 23, 2009). "Clean coal push marks reversal of UK energy policy". The Guardian (London).
- Eco Concern: Coal Plant Boom
- New Rules Limit Coal Plants
- "California Takes on Power Plant Emissions: SB 1368 Sets Groundbreaking Greenhouse Gas Performance Standard," Natural Resources Defense Council Fact Sheet, August 2007.
- Rhonda Erskine, "Maine Governor Baldacci Signs Bill to Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions," WCSH WCSH6.com, April 15, 2008
- "Stop the Coal Rush" Rally & Lobby Day Set for February 11 & 12", Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter.
- Stop the Coal Rush! Participating Organizations
- Text of HCR 43
- Legislative history of HCR 43
- Rep. Anderson press release, December 4, 2007.
- Christina Russell, "Wallula Coal Plant Proposal Controversial Among Students, Faculty," Whitman College Pioneer, 11/15/07
- "Progress Energy Carolinas sets goal of doubling efficiency savings to 2,000 MW," Progress Energy Inc press release, June 1, 2007.
- "Don't Get Burned: The Risks of Investing in New Coal-Fired Generating Facilities," Synapse Energy Economics, 2008, p. 11 (PDF file)
- "NorthWestern Energy Plans For More Wind; Says New Coal is Too Risky," Renewable Northwest Project, 12/17/07.
- Opinion Research Corporation, A Post Fossil-Fuel America, Executive Summary, National Opinion Survey Produced for Citizens Lead for Energy Action Now (CLEAN), A Project of the Civil Society Institute, October 18, 2007
- Opinion Research Corporation, A Post Fossil-Fuel America, National Opinion Survey Produced for Citizens Lead for Energy Action Now (CLEAN), A Project of the Civil Society Institute, page 18, October 18, 2007
- Gallup, Americans want more emphasis on solar, wind, natural gas, 27 Mar. 2013.
- CLEAN press release, October 18, 2007.
- http://www.cleanenergyaction.net/callaction.cfm Citizens
- "Moratorium on Coal Financing," accessed April 2008.
- Nobel Lecture, Oslo, December 10, 2007
- Tom Sanzillo statement on YouTube
- Peter Metcalf, "Law Professor Says Government Obligated to Curb Climate Change," NewWest.net, 2/20/08.
- "Google CEO ERic Schmidt offers energy plan," San Jose Mercury News, 9/9/08
- Urgent Plea for Enactment of Carbon Fees and Ban on New Coal-Fired Power Plants without Carbon Sequestration Laurie Williams and Allan Zabel, May 6, 2008
- "E. Idaho Mayor Doesn't Want Coal-Fired Plant in State," Associated Press, 10/14/07.
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