Power vacuum: Amid coal plant closures, lawmakers fretting about what's next to carry the load

04/30/2014 05:56 PM

With another round of coal fired power plants set close soon, Rep. Rocky Adkins, D-Morehead, wondered in a March committee meeting if area power plants would be able to keep Kentuckians’ lights on in times of high demand.

A combination of many coal plants’ old age, the demands of environmental regulations and competition from cheaper energy sources is prompting power companies to close coal-fired plants over the next two years. (The Institute for Energy Research has a map of planned closures).

Currently 92 percent of Kentucky’s energy comes from coal with about five percent in natural gas. Adkins told lawmakers that the state came within centimeters of brown outs during January and February of the year because of high demand for heat amid a brutally cold winter.

There are some options to diversify Kentucky’s energy sources, but no one obvious path.

Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Len Peters will be in studio with Pure Politics on Thursday to discuss the next steps for Kentucky’s energy policy.

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.


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