Property developer Franklin L. Haney is going all out for nuclear at a time when reactors are being shut down across the U.S. His company, Nuclear Development LLC, said Monday it would purchase an unfinished facility in Alabama from the Tennessee Valley Authority for $111 million after the government-controlled utility failed to complete a project that began four decades ago. Nuclear Development plans to invest as much as $13 billion to complete the Bellefonte plant with work starting in 2017, the company said in a statement Monday. “This project will bring new life to the region by creating thousands of jobs while providing assured access to reliable, affordable, zero-emission energy,” Haney said in the statement. The sale underscores the challenges that America’s nuclear power generators have been facing for years amid competition from generators burning cheap natural gas and the rising use of renewable power. Five nuclear power plants have retired in the past five years including Fort Calhoun in Nebraska, which closed last month.
Bloomberg 14th Nov 2016 read more »
The election of Donald Trump probably means that, one way or another, the USA will pull out of the Paris Agreement on climate change, but this may make less difference to how much carbon the world would have emitted than what you might think. For a start the Paris Agreement already has enough national states as signatures representing a high enough proportion of global greenhouse gas emissions to remain valid with a US withdrawal. The Agreement requires there to be signatories representing at least 55 per cent of global emissions, and there’s more than that left in the agreement without the USA. Second, internally, such downwards pressure on carbon emissions as there is is mainly bound up with technological changes or policies that are likely to continue anyway. Coal consumption in the US has fallen by around a quarter since 2008, but. according to a recent paper published in The Electricity Journal this has very little to do with Obama, and almost all to do with the increased availability of cheap natural gas. The growth in production of shale gas has been the factor that has reduced the demand for coal and led to the closure of increasing numbers of ageing coal fired power plant. Another factor reducing coal use is the growth of renewable energy – mainly wind and solar. These technologies are promoted by a bi-partisan Congressional agreement on a policy of production tax credits (wind) and investment tax credit (solar). These will decline in force and run out in 2020. However, many Republican Congressmen are relatively sympathetic towards renewable energy, and there are possibilities that some form of tax credit support could be renewed. The Republicans may not care much for the climate issue, but they are interested in helping people, including often the renewable energy industry, make money.
Dave Toke’s Blog 14th Nov 2016 read more »