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Will there be enough electricity after coal plants shut down?

Coal plants are shutting down across the West. But will there be enough electricity once they are gone? The answer has industry leaders concerned.

Pat Dooris

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Published: 6:45 PM PST December 17, 2019
Updated: 1:00 PM PST December 18, 2019

Burning coal to create electricity kept the lights on in the Pacific Northwest for decades.

Now, the major utility companies are turning away from coal, pushed by political and legal action, falling costs of renewable energy and a desire to help fight global warming.

It creates a historic change for not only the utilities, but also for the missions of people they serve. It also creates a fair amount of risk.

Will there be enough electricity to fill the gap created by the loss of coal?

It is a question with profound implications and one that leaders in the industry are closely studying.

So far, the answer is nobody knows for sure.

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