Tag Archives: Paul Bowers

Georgia Power new acquisition AGL’s Pivotal LNG exporting through Jaxport

Back in May 2015, Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning and Georgia Power CEO Paul Bowers both told me “If we can’t do coal, we have to do pipelines”. I-75 through Atlanta, Macon, Valdosta, I-10 through Lake City A year in the making, Southern Company bought pipeline company AGL Resources. Turns out AGL Resources is also an LNG export company, exporting through Jacksonville by LNG containers on trucks. And the plot thickens with the pending corporate takeover of CSX Railroad by the former CEO of Canadian Pacific, given that CSX depends a lot on carrying coal, which remember is what Southern Company is rapidly getting away from. Could CSX want to carry LNG? Meanwhile, LNG containers are already rolling down I-75 and I-10 to Jaxport, apparently through Atlanta, Macon, Valdosta, and Lake City.

Southern Company PR, 1 July 2016, Southern Company and AGL Resources complete merger, create a leading U.S. energy company, Continue reading

Southern Company buying half of SONAT from KMI

SO is buying 50% of SONAT from KMI, as multiple people have pointed out, including someone from Southern Company. SO: SONAT in the Southeast Unfortunately SO is not just investing in existing pipelines: this purchase is about “specific growth opportunities”, and yes, it’s tied to SO’s recent purchase of AGL. Southern Company needs to stop plugging dying 20th century fossil fuels and get on with what it’s already started with solar power (and offshore wind).

Southern Company PR 10 July 2016, Southern Company, Kinder Morgan enter Southern Natural Gas pipeline strategic venture, Continue reading

How fast industries can change: mobile phones and solar power

In only half a dozen years Microsoft went from laughing at the iPhone to admitting MS had none of the mobile phone or mobile device market, while Apple became the most valuable company in the world. Another entrenched industry, electric power will also change radically in only a few years, and solar power will win like the Internet did.

MG Siegler of Google Ventures blogged this on ParisLemon 20 September 2013, What A Difference Six Years Makes…

Steve Ballmer, 2007:

Steve Ballmer

Right now we’re selling millions and millions and millions of phones a year. Apple is selling zero phones a year.

Steve Ballmer, a few months later:

It’s sort of a funny question. Would I trade 96% of the market for 4% of the market? (Laughter.) I want to have products that appeal to everybody.

Now we’ll get a chance to go through this again in phones and music players. There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.

Steve Ballmer, yesterday:

Mobile devices. We have almost no share.

And it wasn’t just Steve Jobs riding Moore’s Law on an iPhone: Continue reading

The Economist answers Paul Bowers about carbon tax

Back in May someone asked Georgia Power CEO Paul Bowers what he thought about a carbon tax, and he answered, “Why would anyone want that?” The Economist answered his question, 29 June 2013, Tepid, timid: The world will one day adopt a carbon tax—but only after exhausting all the alternatives,

Winston Churchill famously said America would always do the right thing after exhausting the alternatives. The right thing in climate You can always count on Americans to do the right thing, after they ve tried everything else. --Winston Churchill policy for all the big countries is a carbon tax, which is simpler and less vulnerable to fluctuations in emissions than cap-and-trade schemes. For years, such a tax has been a non-starter politically. But as the alternatives are tested to destruction, it deserves to be looked at again. Current environmental policies will not keep the rise in global temperatures to below 2°C—the maximum that most climate scientists think safe. A carbon tax, if stiff enough, could. Big polluters should assume that such a tax will one day arrive, and start planning for it now.

Dear Paul Bowers,

Stop being tepid and timid. Go beyond Continue reading

China carbon cap and Georgia Power

If China implements a carbon tax, will Georgia Power CEO Paul Bowers change his recent answer to a question about a carbon tax, which was “why would anyone want that?”

Paul Bowers speaking In February the Chinese Ministry of Finance (MoF) said China would soon tax carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and that’s getting closer in the country whose capital Beijing has smog bad it’s literally off the charts. Katie Valentine wrote for ThinkProgress 22 May 2013, Bombshell: China May Be Close To Implementing A Cap On Carbon Pollution,

China is taking steps to tackle its huge carbon output. Today, the country announced the details of its first carbon trading program, which will begin in the city of Shenzhen next month. The southern city is one of seven cities and provinces, including Beijing, which will take part in the pilot program, set to be completely implemented by 2014.

And according to one local news source, China could implement an absolute, nation-wide cap on its carbon emissions by 2016. China’s 21st Century Business Herald reported this week that the country’s State Council still needs to approve the carbon cap proposal submitted by the National Development and Reform Commission, a government entity that controls much of the Chinese economy. The proposal, which the State Council is reportedly likely to support, would ensure China’s emissions would not increase past the country’s target cap, regardless of economic growth — though it’s still unclear what that cap would be. The paper reported that the NDRC also predicts China’s greenhouse gas emissions will peak in 2025, rather than 2030, as earlier predictions stated.

If the cap is adopted,

Continue reading

Highest paid public employee in Georgia?

Come on, guess! You’re right: it’s a football coach. UGA football coaching staff get even more compensation than Paul Bowers, CEO of Georgia Power, or Thomas A. Fanning, CEO of the Southern Company, let alone any insignificant college president or elected official.

If I’m reading the ESPN database right, UGA coaches get around $14 million a year, while Georgia Power CEO Paul Bowers gets only Continue reading

Dragging Georgia behind in solar power: Georgia Power and Southern Company

As long as we leave it to Georgia Power and Southern Company, Georgia will remain far behind in solar power jobs, profits, and energy independence. Hear Southern Company CEO Thomas A. Fanning say:

We remain very bullish on solar. When we think about renewables, I think renewables are exceedingly important to this nation’s future. My sense is until we see significant technology innovation, my sense is that that will probably very late in this decade or beyond that, we still are gonna get by far the lion’s share of electricity from central stations.

SO’s “bullish on solar” means nuclear, “clean coal”, and natural gas big baseload power stations, and forget about solar or wind. That’s why Georgia Power has raised customer rates to pay for gas and nuclear plants while complaining about solar. Here’s Georgia Power CEO Paul Bowers:

“Renewable (energy sources are) going to have a sliver,” Bowers said of fuels to create electricity. “Is it going to be 2 or 4 percent? That’s yet to be determined. Economics will drive that. But you always remember (that renewable energy is) an intermittent resource. It’s not one you can depend on 100 percent of the time.”

What is to be done?

-jsq

Solar cars and charging stations: who wouldn’t?

Tired of Southern Company CEO Fanning’s maybe “next decade” for solar power? Tired of Georgia Power’s Bowers trying to push solar off for fifty years? Let’s hear from somebody who takes on big tasks and gets them done: Elon Musk, who’s already built a rocket that is resupplying the International Space Station, and who is also building all-electric cars.

Carl Hoffman wrote for Smithsonian magazine December 2012, Elon Musk, the Rocket Man With a Sweet Ride

When he’s not launching rockets, Musk is disrupting the notoriously obdurate automobile industry (see National Treasure, p. 42). While industry giants like Chevrolet and Nissan and Toyota were dithering with electric-gasoline hybrids, this upstart kid said he would design and manufacture an all-electric car that would travel hundreds of miles on a single charge. The Tesla Roadster hit the streets in 2008 with a range of 200 miles, and the far more functional Model S, starting at $57,000, was introduced in June. It’s the world’s first all-electric car that does everything my old gasoline version does, only better. The high-end model travels 300 miles on a single charge, leaps from zero to 60 in 5.5 seconds, slows from 60 to a dead stop in 105 feet, can seat up to five, has room for mulch bags and golf clubs, handles like a race car and its battery comes with an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty. If you charged it via solar panels, it would run off the sun. One hundred a week are being produced in a former Toyota factory in Fremont, California, and nearly 13,000 people have put deposits on them….

And since that story: Continue reading

Georgia Power’s Bowers pushes solar misinformation out the next fifty years

Paul Bowers, CEO of Georgia Power, doubled down on baseload nuclear, coal, and natural gas for the next fifty years. What’s he scared of?

Nick Coltrain wrote for OnlineAthens yesterday, Renewable push not in the cards for Ga. Power,

Georgia Power CEO Paul Bowers in Georgia Trend, November 2011 “Renewable (energy sources are) going to have a sliver,” Bowers said of fuels to create electricity. “Is it going to be 2 or 4 percent? That’s yet to be determined. Economics will drive that. But you always remember (that renewable energy is) an intermittent resource. It’s not one you can depend on 100 percent of the time.”

One time you can depend on it is hot summer days when everybody is air conditioning, which is why Roger Duncan of Austin Energy in 2003 Austin Energy flipped in one year from spouting such nonsense to deploying the most aggressive solar rooftop rebate program in the country. Austin Energy did the math and found those rebates would cost about the same as a coal plant and would generate as much energy. And when it is needed most, unlike the fossilized baseload grid, which left millions without power in the U.S. in June and hundreds of millions without power in India in July.

Bowers knows better than the nonsense he just spouted; as recently as November 2011 he told Georgia Trend,

Continue reading

Solar feed-in tariff in Georgia?

To make up for lost time in getting Georgia in the lead in solar power for jobs, energy independence, and profit, how about we elect legislators who will implement a feed-in tariff? If we can afford massive subsidies to Georgia Power and Southern Company for electricity nobody will get for years from their nuke boondoggle, we can afford a feed-in tariff that costs nobody until solar (and wind) power is actually generated.

According to last month’s Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2012,

Support for renewable power generation remains the most popular policy option with at least 65 countries and 27 states now having feed-in-tariffs (FITs).

Fred wrote for ReVision Energy 10 August 2010, NREL: Feed in Tariffs Drive Competition, Costs Down for Renewables, While Increasing Growth,

“The arguments in favor of a FIT policy are primarily economic in nature. These include the ability to … stimulate significant and quantifiable growth of local industry and job creation … [and] only cost money if projects actually operate”

Get that last part? “…only cost money if projects actually operate” unlike Southern Company’s Plant Vogtle nuke boondoggle, which is costing Georgia Power customers right now on their bills, even though they won’t get any electricity from those nukes for years, if ever, plus they’re on the hook for cost overruns, too, already $400 million and climbing.

Look at that map: the big blank space in the southeast is mostly Southern Company’s “Competitive Generation Opportunities”, minus Florida. Translation: where Southern Company holds us back from leading the world in solar energy.

Dear Thomas A. Fanning, CEO of Southern Company, and Paul Bowers, CEO of Georgia Power: how about turn that ship around and get in the lead of the convoy?

Well, they may not listen, but we the voters have an opportunity right now to elect Georgia legislators and Public Service Commissioners who will put a lid on the power utility smoke and let the sun shine on Georgia!

-jsq