Rush to build gas plants could cost investors, customers billions, RMI says

  • The United States' generation fleet is aging, and new research from the Rocky Mountain Institute estimates about half of existing thermal generation plants (gas, coal and nuclear) will retire by 2030. How those plants are replaced, about 500 GW in all, is a significant choice for regulators and investors alike.
  • New gas turbines are becoming more efficient and natural gas is expected to remain cheap. Already, $112 billion in gas-fired power plants have been proposed or are under construction, along with $32 billion in proposed pipelines to serve them.
  • RMI's research concludes regulators, utilities and investors should take a hard look at using a clean energy portfolio, rather than continuing what the report calls a "rush to gas" that could cost more than $500 billion.