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Energy editors' picks: Coal plant closures in 2020; capacity addition in 2019

S&P Global Market Intelligence editors' picks for the best stories for the week ended Jan. 17.

1. US power generators set for another big year in coal plant closures in 2020

U.S. coal consumption is likely to decline sharply again in 2020, though the current roster of planned and completed coal plant retirements suggests the year may not be quite as rough as the past two.

2. Wind, solar total more than half of new US capacity added in 2019

Wind and solar plants totaled about 52% of the new power generation resources added in the U.S. in 2019.

3. Germany lays out €40B coal exit plan; RWE accepts deal through gritted teeth

The German government presented a plan outlining the financing and timeline of the country's exit from coal power generation, putting the country on a path to eliminating the fuel from its mix by the late 2030s.

4. To hit trade goals by 2021, US oil and gas industry needs 20% of China's market

"A million barrels per day [of oil] could do the trick" after China and the U.S. announced details of the first phase of a trade agreement after two years of political and commercial conflict, energy analysis firm ClearView Energy Partners LLC said.

5. Congress, feds aim to plug pipeline cybersecurity holes amid Iran hacking alerts

U.S. agencies are still working to address blind spots in federal pipeline cybersecurity programs at a time when analysts and the government are issuing warnings about threats from Iranian hackers.