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Coal plant retirements and national grid expansion in 2022

Written by Jordan Smith

Edited by Lisa Iscrupe

Last updated 02/09/2022

Phil Augustavo/E+/Getty Images

The energy sector will see big changes in the upcoming year, including a more rapid shift towards renewable energy sources. The Energy Innovation think tank (EI) predicts more coal plants will retire in 2022. Experts also anticipate a significant jump in the share of power generated by solar and wind.

Approximately two-thirds of U.S. coal power plants have announced their retirement in the past decade, EI notes. This trend shows no signs of stopping and could even speed up over the coming year. According to the Energy Information Administration, 85% of all power plant retirements for 2022 are coal facilities. Coal plants with a generating capacity of 12.6 gigawatts will go offline in 2022., which amounts to 6% of total US coal power-producing capacity.

Most remaining coal plants were built during the 1970s and 1980s, meaning they’re approaching the end of their working lives. EI expects coal burning for electricity generation to end during the current decade in the US.

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