Energy Communities in Transition

Photo Credit: Jackson Cooper Gango

Operating, cancelled, and retired coal plants as of 2022. Global Coal Plant Tracker, Global Energy Monitor.

The energy sector in the U.S. and around the globe is in transition. Coal plants are shutting down earlier than expected, and conventional electricity generation is being replaced by cleaner and less expensive energy sources like renewables (wind and solar) and natural gas. Communities home to coal mines and coal plants rely on the jobs and revenue provided by the industry, and with mine and plant closures, they will face uncertain futures. The Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE) is working with coal community members and policymakers to help support community-led, equitable transitions from coal to a cleaner economy.

Explore our work below.

Resources for Communities in Transition

The resources in this section provide information for state legislators, community members, and local governments on programs that provide financial assistance to support communities in transition. The examples from utility-contributed funds might provide a framework for a community “ask” of utilities’ for support during a transition.

Federal Funding Opportunities

Interagency Working Group on Coal & Powerplant Communities & Economic Revitalization: Funding Opportunities

Business Models for Coal Plant Decommissioning, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) (PDF)

Federal Support Opportunities to Remediate and Redevelop Energy Assets, PNNL (PDF)

Federal Economic Resources Matrix: Sortable and Searchable Database

Financing Mechanisms to Accelerate Managed Coal Power Phaseout, RMI and Center for Climate Aligned Finance (PDF)

U.S. DOE Energy Community Tax Credit Bonus and Interactive Map

U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA): Coal Communities Commitment Fact Sheet (PDF)

U.S. EDA’s Coal Communities Commitment

U.S. EDA Assistance to Coal Communities

U.S. EDA: Before You Apply for an EDA Grant

Utility Contributions

Arizona: Utility Offers $169 Million Deal with Navajo Nation

Montana: Puget Sound Energy (PSE) Provides Economic Impact Funds for Colstrip

Private Philanthropy

Just Transition Fund

Rural Philanthropy Toolkit

Other Resources

Economic Development Policies to Enable Fairness for Workers and Communities in Transition, RFF

Securitization: A Finance Tool for Energy Transition, Powder River Basin Resource Council (Video)

People Who Can Help

This newsletter, Mountain West Coal Communities Transition Update, will keep you up to date with congratulations on successes, news of community developments, introductions to people doing great work on coal community transition issues, and resources you can use.   

Mountain West Coal Communities Transition Update, September 2023 – Volume 1

Mountain West Coal Communities Transition Update, October 2023 – Volume 2

Mountain West Coal Communities Transition Update, January 2024 – Voume 3

Photo Credit: Jackson Cooper Gango

Our Micro-documentaries: Craig, Colorado: Coal Town in Transition

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