thermal power generation requires water for cooling,
with nukes so vulnerable no private insurer will cover them anyway
and failing frequently in recent heat waves.
“Natural” gas is no better than coal or oil for water use;
maybe worse because all those pipelines vulnerable to backhoes
or corrosion or attack.
Even hydro is vulnerable to lack of rainfall.
Carbon sequestration doesn’t get good marks, while
conservation and efficiency get rave reviews from
a study of insurance perspectives on power generation.
What’s the one power source this article about insurance risks does not say
is fragile in the face of climate change?
Hint: look up.
Supply-side energy choices that may be made to reduce the
carbon-intensity of energy services have their own distinctive
liability characteristics. For example, switching to lower-carbon
electricity generation technology based on thermal power plant
technology (e.g., by substituting natural gas for coal) results in
systems that are still heavily dependent on water resources for
cooling. The Electric Power Research Institute has documented
considerable risks to traditionally cooled power generation systems
as a result of climate
change-induced droughts.242 Similarly, “zero-emissions” hydroelectric
generating systems are also sensitive to rainfall patterns.
Electric Power Research Institute, Presentation:
Climate Impact on Water Availability for Electricity Generation
(April 11, 2006) (presentation slides associated with the Electric
Power Research Institute).
Time to break out of the utility death spiral by breaking
away from cost overruns at Kemper “clean” Coal
and the Plant Vogtle nuclear boondoggle
and getting on with real renewable solar and wind power.
Reducing to Sell on continued delays for the Kemper IGCC project
With further delays and increased costs for the Kemper IGCC project
resulting in yet another $380M of writedowns (further slippage
costing $25M/month) and now the likely loss of $120M-$150M of bonus
depreciation as well, we view the current premium P/E multiple as
While the Vogtle nuclear project appears to be on track,
the presence of two major risky projects, Continue reading →
The costs of achieving a more ambitious EU climate target are
estimated to be moderate. Upscaling greenhouse-gas emissions
reduction from the current 20 percent by 2020 to 40 percent by 2030
would be likely to cost less than an additional 0.7 percent of
And that apparently doesn’t count the additional economic activity
that would be produced by all those wind and solar deployments,
not to mention related activities like electric cars.
This is actually a pessimistic study, because it doesn’t account
for such likely positive corollaries.
Many options to choose from—wind power could expand sevenfold
SO CEO Tom Fanning continued to blame slow sales and earnings on mild
weather (air conditioners running less), but the big boondoggle
going bad is Kemper Coal, which has slipped six months from May 2014 to Q4 2014,
and even the Wall Street Journal calls it “possibly the most expensive fossil-fuel power plant ever built in the U.S”.
How bad will SO’s stock tank when SO’s even more expensive
nuclear Plant Vogtle slips even more?
Dividends can’t prop up SO’s share price forever, not when PSCs are revolting against the rate hikes
and guaranteed profit hikes that prop up those dividends.
When will Southern Company and Georgia Power get out front and lead in solar and wind power?
Before or after the public, state public service commissions, and investors make them do it?
Finish it and then send we the taxpayers and ratepayers a bill?
What kind of deal is that?
So Southern Company already
dodged a Fitch downgrade by delaying
a decision, and now GA PSC wants to put it off for years more.
That also delays solar deployment in Georgia, putting us still farther behind.
A debate over the rising cost of building a nuclear power plant in
Georgia will be delayed for years under an agreement approved
Tuesday by Georgia’s utility regulators.
The elected members of Georgia’s Public Service Commission
unanimously approved a deal that will put off a decision on whether
Georgia Power can raise its budget for building two more nuclear
reactors at Plant Vogtle (VOH’-gohl) until the first of those
reactors is finished. An independent state monitor has estimated the
first reactor will be finished in January 2018 at the earliest.
Regulators will continue monitoring company spending but will not
make a decision on raising the bottom line budget figure.
So GA PSC will keep watching costs run over budget but will do nothing
Why all these overruns?
All sorts of excuses about everything but
bad management and it was a bad idea in the first place.
Does anybody believe this coal plant will be completed anywhere near on time?
Why not stop wasting money on it and invest in solar and wind instead?
The unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co. told stockholders on Monday
that an ongoing review of costs at the coal-fired plant initially
has identified at least another $160 million in cost increases.
Mississippi Power spokeswoman Amoi Geter said Southern Co.
shareholders would absorb any cost increases. The parent company was
hit with $540 million in charges in April, although the after-tax
cost to shareholders was lower. In a January settlement with
Mississippi regulators, the company agreed to shield customers from
further cost increases.
The overruns could push the cost of the plant, adjoining lignite
mine and associated pipelines to $4.45 billion. That’s more than
$1.1 billion above original estimates.
It’s only supposed to produce 582 megawatts if ever completed.
SO could have already built far more solar and wind power
for that $4.45 billion, on time and on budget.
Georgia Power today asked the Georgia Public Service Commission
(PSC) for permission to increase its base rates approximately $482
million, or 6.1 percent. The request is being made to allow the
company to recover the costs of recent and future investments in
infrastructure —including environmental controls, transmission
and distribution, generation, and smart grid technologies —
required in order to maintain high levels of reliability and
superior customer service.
The proposed change in rates would be effective Jan. 1, 2014.