January 30, 2020

Podcast: The Forces Driving a Gas-Fired Power Plant Glut

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

S&P Global Market Intelligence recently conducted an investigative series called "Overpowered" that concluded powerful incentives have led companies to build too many natural gas-fired power plants in the United States.

The series reported that new gas plants help lower the country's carbon footprint by replacing older coal plants while taking advantage of cheap natural gas prices. However, they also may set consumers up to lose money on stranded assets or commit them to emitting more CO2 than what experts say is needed to avert the worst effects of climate change.

S&P's Energy Evolution podcast interviewed some of the "Overpowered" series' sources and authors to follow-up on why utilities are adding gas generation despite flat demand and some states' efforts to adopt more renewable energy. Jennifer Chen, senior counsel for federal energy policy at Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, has written on this topic since 2017. Chen spoke about why a recent order from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will likely worsen the oversupply of gas generation capacity in the PJM Interconnection, the country's largest market for electric power.