Energy companies are warning that if stricter EPA regulations go into effect, they will have no choice but to shut down a large number of coal-fired power plants across the country. According to some estimates, that could mean as much as 8% of the country’s power capacity would simply disappear. What would we do then?
Well, if that worst-case scenario actually occurs, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has a solution: more energy-efficient measures on the customer side, like combined heat and power (CHP) and waste heat recovery, could make up for the huge shortfall created by the loss of coal-fired power plants. The group’s new white paper, “Avoiding A Train Wreck: Replacing Old Coal Plants with Energy Efficiency,” lays out their case.