Threatened by power cuts, the United States relies more on coal

The coal-fired power plant of the electrician Ameren, in Labadie, Missouri (United States). David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP

Hit by the energy crisis, the country risks going backwards for its electricity production.

In Washington

The demand for electricity is increasing while production capacities cannot keep up. The United States is preparing for a summer punctuated by power cuts, especially in certain metropolises of the Midwest. This situation would be less serious without the deliberately accelerated decline in the use of coal over the past fifteen years. But the network operator in the center of the United States, Midcontinent Independent System Operator (Miso), for example, has just accepted that the 46-year-old coal-fired power plant at Rush Island, Missouri, remains in operation. Its owner, the electrician Ameren, of St Louis, had however planned to close it, because the installation of filters to limit toxic emissions would have cost him too much (up to 1 billion dollars). Miso admits that this closure would increase the risk of power cuts.

The doubling of the price of natural gas since the beginning of the year and the 65% increase in the price of a barrel of American oil place…

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