Xcel Energy Was 43% Coal-Fired in 2015; Coal Share to Hit 31% in 2030

Xcel Energy to Decrease Use of Coal, Increase Wind by 2030 Wayne Barber GenerationHub

A recent presentation to investors illustrates the declining role of coal and increased use of wind power at Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL).

The Xcel Energy fuel mix, based on energy, was 53 percent coal in 2005. By contrast, coal’s share fell to 43 percent in 2015 and should drop even further, to 31 percent in 2030.

That’s a takeaway from a series of pie graphs on page 53 of materials that Xcel Energy used in presentations to investors in Kansas City and Texas on March 9 and 10.

While coal’s share is shrinking, wind power is growing dramatically across the Xcel Energy generation system. Wind accounted for only 3 percent of the company’s energy in 2005. That figure grew to 17 percent in 2015 and is expected to climb to 25 percent in 2030.

In 2030, Xcel’s power mix is expected to be 31 percent coal; natural gas 25 percent; wind 25 percent; nuclear 11 percent; solar 7 percent and hydro 1 percent.

In the investor presentation, Xcel Energy notes that its subsidiary utilities in Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Southwest are using more natural gas and renewable energy in response to various market drivers, -- including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean Power Plan.

The company is “investigating up to 1,000 MW of additional renewable resources” for Colorado and planning for an addition of 800 MW of wind & 400 MW of solar (by 2020) for Minnesota.

Xcel Energy also notes in the materials that it will be spending over half of its future base capital between now and 2020 (54 percent) on wires – with 27 percent each being spent on electric transmission and distribution. The electric generation share will be 22 percent and natural gas investment 13 percent.

This article was republished with permission.

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