Coal-Fired Power Plant  Chris Willemsen/Getty Images/ThinkStock

More money will be spent on new coal-fired power plants in the next decade than on all other energy-generation technologies combined, according to a report from The McIlvaine Company.

McIlvaine says it takes years to plan and then construct a new coal-fired power plant, so near-term predictions for new coal capacity can be made with confidence. Nuclear power plants take even longer, while wind and solar construction cycles are much shorter.

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McIlvaine says new construction of renewable energy facilities often relies on subsidies rather than competitive pricing, which means future use depends on the progress in cost reduction or continuation of subsidies—both of which are fraught with uncertainty.  

Gas-fired power recently has been expensive in Europe where some power plants are being temporarily shuttered. Meanwhile, gas-fired power is relatively inexpensive in the U.S. The price disparity will disappear if large scale LNG and gas-to-liquid plants are built in the U.S., which McIlvaine says will raise the price of gas to world levels.

The political turmoil in the Middle East is another major variable. The shale gas production in the U.S. is sufficient to blunt some of the impact, but since gas and oil prices ultimately rise and fall together, McIlvaine says turmoil in the Middle East could be a significant factor in future energy production.

For more details on McIlvaine’sFossil & Nuclear Power Generation: World Analysis & Forecast report, click here.

For more details on McIlvaine’s Renewable Energy World Marketsreport, click here