Posts tagged “power generation”
U.S. Power Producers Offer Insight for Investors and Policymakers Worldwide
As the number two carbon emitter on the globe, behind only China, U.S. power generation’s impact on carbon emissions can shed light on our progress. U.S. data can also inform other countries as they make choices regarding their energy portfolio mixes, particularly in power generation fuel source decisions. It would seem easier to start cleaner than to become cleaner.
Carbon emissions, a chief culprit in the warming of the planet, crossed a new threshold with uncertain consequences in May to 400 parts per million (ppm). The last time concentrations were this high was 3 to 5 million years ago — featuring an earth with higher sea levels and forests extending to the Arctic Ocean, according to an atmospheric scientist. It was a reminder to those concerned about the effects of climate change and others supportive of a lower carbon economy that considerable heavylifting lies ahead. A goal of 450 ppm is considered a threshold to ward off temperature rises higher than 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 Fahrenheit.
A coalition of scientists in the United States has released a report suggesting that as many as 353 coal-fired electricity plants in the country should be retired due to their extreme age and general inability to compete with cheaper alternatives like natural gas and wind power.
Issued by a group called the Union of Concerned Scientists, the report targets a total of 59 gigawatts of electric power generating capability across the country, representing more than 6 percent of the total amount of electricity used by American citizens and businesses. The plants in question, each well-aged and operating past their 30 year lifespan, generate the bulk of the nation’s pollutants and greenhouse gases; with the costs of keeping them up to official standards taken into account, the report suggests that none are worth maintaining in the long run. (Read More: The Death of American Coal Producers — and a Potential Lifeline)
First thing, on this day after the U.S. presidential elections I would like to congratulate President Obama on his reelection. My top prediction for 2012 – made nearly a year ago and reiterated many times since — was that Obama would easily win reelection, primarily because all of the Republican contenders had baggage that was likely to keep some of the Republican base from voting. Therefore, I did not believe that the country was likely to see any major shift in energy policy, and the next four years will be similar to the past four years.
It has been a while since I hosted a guest post in my column here. I decided to host this one by Paul Stinson from North Hampton, New Hampshire because he offers up a thought-provoking concept that I have not encountered elsewhere. I am uncertain whether a proposal such as this could work, but I thought it was worth offering up to readers because it is really outside-the-box thinking. It has some similarities to my own proposals for incentivizing renewable energy production that would shift risks from the taxpayer into the private sector, and it is a detailed piece of work. CONTINUE»