“The bulk of it is going to be replaced by natural gas plants,” Aylesworth said in the article. “It’s good for wind and solar too, but percentage-wise, the new power generation that’s come online this year is running about 60 percent natural gas.”

The drive for lower greenhouse emissions could also push aging nuclear plant operators to pay for expensive upgrades. There won’t be enough natural gas to completely offset some of the coal plant closure in light of increasing emissions regulations. Consequently, nuclear plants could have to pick up the slack, allowing nuclear operators to ask for subsidies to keep their operations running.

“It could help provide a much needed lifeline to some of the country’s more economically troubled nuclear plants,” Paul Patterson, analyst for Glenrock Associates LLC, said in the article.

For more information on the energy sector, visit our energy category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

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