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(29,798 posts)
8. It does a great deal to address global warming.
Thu Dec 19, 2013, 07:18 AM
Dec 2013

Most energy analysts working on a solution to carbon see us creating an energy system where electricity is the primary energy carrier with a distributed renewable energy grid at its core. Electric cars are a key element as they largely provide the needed load management and storage capability in addition to their transport function - and they do it while piggybacking on the capital investment already required for moving the personal transportation sector away from petroleum.

The nations outgoing top energy regulator (James Wellinghoff) sees the same picture I'm describing. He's on the record with a pretty strong opinion - we may never need another coal or nuclear plant in this country.

As for nuclear my position predated the meltdowns in Japan and is based on preference for the technologies that can most rapidly and efficiently move modern society away from carbon. It is an unnecessary diversion of time and money imo.

Here is what the CEO of NRG, one of the largest energy companies out there now believes:

NRG CEO: Power grid will soon be 'last resort'

By Ethan Howland Dec. 11, 2013 |

Dive Brief:
- In a few years, most power will come from distributed sources and the centralized power grid will become a "last resort," according to David Crane, NRG Energy's president and CEO.

- Utility power sales have entered an “inexorable decline,” the "massive excess capacity" needed to meet peak demand "will become unnecessary" and the need for new power plants and transmission infrastructure "will be eliminated," Crane posits.

- Crane says three trends will lead consumers to stop buying power from utilities: cheap rooftop solar, automated conservation and extreme weather.

- But Crane sees a possible compromise between utilities and their customers on solar. Utilities should buy back excess supply that coincides with peak use, instead of offering average power supply costs, Crane said. Solar customers should pay for grid use at night or on cloudy days.


He sees solar rapidly climbing to a 30% share of the electric supply.

For counterpoint, here are some remarks from another Crane, this time Christopher; the CEO of the nation's largest fleet of nuclear plants and vice-chair of NEI, the nuclear industry lobbying group.
Exelon's CEO: Analysts 'have it very wrong'
By Steve Daniels October 30, 2013

Facing deteriorating sentiment on Wall Street, Exelon Corp. CEO Christopher Crane today directly challenged analysts' views on his company and restated his confidence that the depressed wholesale power markets largely responsible for the Chicago-based utility giant's declining earnings will recover.

But, though Mr. Crane delivered it more pointedly than in the past, his message is one analysts have heard before, with no evidence afterward that the market fundamentals were changing. So this time Mr. Crane put a time limit on his patience: one year.

If wholesale power prices don't show signs of increasing by late next year, Exelon will begin shuttering power plants, he said on a call to discuss the company's third-quarter earnings, which surpassed analysts' expectations.

“We will shut down facilities that we do not see a path to long-term sustainable profitability,” Mr. Crane pledged.

Among the nuclear power plants regarded as the most vulnerable in that scenario...


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