PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Pacific Northwest can meet most of its power needs over the next 20 years with energy efficiency and voluntary reductions of power use during periods of peak demand.

That's according to the draft power plan by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. A public hearing on the plan will be held Tuesday evening in Portland.

In the plan, the Council forecasts Pacific Northwest electricity demand for the next 20 years. It assigns power resources to meet that demand.

The plan says use of existing natural gas-fired power plants will replace three retiring coal-fired plants. The probability that new power plants will be needed before 2021 is low.

Retiring the coal plants should help the region meet EPA carbon dioxide emissions limits. But it won't be entirely carbon-free with existing technologies.

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