This fact sheet examines how Missouri can use its existing policies and infrastructure to meet its emission standards under the Clean Power Plan while minimizing compliance costs, ensuring reliability, and harnessing economic opportunities. Read about additional analyses in WRI's fact sheet series, How States Can Meet Their Clean Power Plan Targets.

Key Findings

Missouri can get 90 percent of the reductions required by taking the steps described below:

  • Meeting voluntary energy efficiency goals: The Missouri Public Service Commission set efficiency benchmarks that reach 1.9 percent of electricity sales in 2019 and subsequent years.
  • Meeting the existing renewable energy standard: Requires 15 percent of the electricity sold by investor-owned utilities to come from renewable sources by 2021.
  • Increasing the use of existing natural gas plants. Combined cycle plants generated less than one-fourth of the electricity they were capable of producing in 2012. Running existing plants at 75 percent could cut emissions further.
  • Increasing coal plant efficiency. Low- and no-cost operational improvements and best practices at existing coal plants could cut emissions further.

Missouri could make up the gap that remains by increasing renewable generation after the renewable energy standard is reached in 2021. If renewable energy grew from 15 percent of investor-owned utility sales in 2021 to 20 percent of all state sales by 2030, Missouri would more than make up the remaining gap, exceeding the reductions required to meet its mass-based target by 14 percent.

Missouri can develop an implementation plan that maximizes the economic benefits to the state and achieves emission reductions cost-effectively by:

  1. Adopting a market-based carbon pricing program, which encourages cost-effective emission cuts and generates revenue that can be used for public investments or reducing taxes. The CPP encourages states to trade credits without formally joining a trading program. Assuming a $10 per short ton price of interstate emissions allowances, Missouri could generate an average of over $40 million per year in revenue between 2022 and 2030 from out-of-state sources if it surpasses its CPP target by expanding its renewable energy standard and using the other opportunities described above.
  2. Investing in energy efficiency. Efficiency is a cost-effective tool for Missouri to cut its emissions while saving money on energy bills for homes and businesses. Every dollar invested in Ameren’s 2013 efficiency programs returned over $3 in benefits to electricity customers.  

Missouri can put itself in a strong position to comply with the Clean Power Plan while taking advantage of economic opportunities and maintaining grid reliability. Missouri has already put policies in place to increase renewable generation and encourage more energy efficiency, but power plant emissions are projected to increase if the state doesn’t follow through on these policies. Failing to meet its renewable energy standard and voluntary efficiency goals will make CPP compliance more difficult and expensive. But by meeting its voluntary efficiency goals and expanding its renewable energy standard, Missouri could put itself in strong position to meet, or even exceed, its targets.

Executive Summary

On August 3, 2015, EPA finalized standards for existing power plants that will help drive additional CO2 emission reductions by 2030. EPA developed these state-specific standards by taking into account each state’s existing fossil fleet along with an estimate of the potential to increase the existing coal fleet’s efficiency, ramping down coal generation by increasing the utilization of the existing natural gas combined cycle fleet, and developing more renewable energy resources. The Clean Power Plan enables states to use a wide range of options to meet their standards, such as existing clean energy policies and electricity infrastructure (the focus of this analysis), other tools to cut electricity use and increase the use of renewables, and broader initiatives such as participation in a cap-and-trade program or use of a carbon tax.