Xcel Energy was 43% coal-fired in 2015; coal share to hit 31% in 2030

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% coal in 2005. By contrast, coal’s share fell to 43% in 2015 and should drop even further, to 31% 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% of the company’s energy in 2005. That figure grew to 17% in 2015 and is expected to climb to 25% in 2030.

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

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%) on wires – with 27% each being spent on electric transmission and distribution. The electric generation share will be 22% and natural gas investment 13%.





About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.