The Energy Information Administration reported July 27 that coal plant owners and operators expect to retire nearly 27 GW of capacity from 175 coal-fired generators by 2016 – four times the capacity amount retired between 2007-2011. This year, 9 GW are expected to be retired, making it the largest one-year amount to date. The agency indicated six factors that were likely contributing to the expected reduction: modest electricity demand growth; relatively lower cost of operating natural gas-fired generators; environmental compliance costs; other compliance costs, including states’ renewable portfolio standards; aging coal-fired generators; and the spare capacity available at natural gas-fired combined cycle power plants.