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January 24, 2013
Brattle Principal Metin Celebi Leads CLE Webcast on the Outlook and Implications of U.S. Coal Plant Retirements

Brattle principal Metin Celebi led the West LegalEdcenter’s continuing legal education (CLE) webcast on “U.S. Coal Plant Retirements: Outlook and Implications,” which took place January 24, 2013. Coal-fired generation plants in the U.S. are facing significant challenges as a result of emerging environmental regulations and other soft conditions in the power and gas markets. Compliance decision making under these conditions is a complex problem that involves comparisons of mostly capital-intensive options (such as installation of pollution control equipment or replacement with a new gas combined-cycle plant) under multiple uncertain factors. The staggered and uncertain regulatory timeline and requirements, potential future climate policy that may involve penalties or restrictions on CO2 emissions, and uncertainty over whether the current soft power prices will continue complicates compliance planning. Dr. Celebi’s presentation shared the findings from a recent study conducted by Brattle economists on projected coal plant retirements in the United States. Specifically, the presentation covered: key factors affecting the retirement/retrofit decisions for coal units; announced and additional projected coal plant retirements by region; description of environmental compliance alternatives and their costs; and potential implications of coal plant retirements for U.S. gas demand and power prices. Dr. Celebi was assisted in preparing the presentation by Brattle principals Frank Graves and Marc Chupka, and research analyst Charles Russell. A copy of the presentation can be downloaded using the link below. To access a recording of the CLE program, please visit the West LegalEdcenter website.