We will probably post more later on the presentations by Paul Wolff
and Robert Green, and the ensuing questions and answers.
a video playlist
of the entire event:
Videos, Solar Energy Forum
Solar Energy Forum, Center for a Sustainable Coast (CSC),
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia, 1 December 2012.
Virtually all empirical evidence for decades indicates that climate disruption, related ocean acidification, sea rise and global warming are not only happening, but consistently occurring at the highest range of modeled projections. Events which were projected within 100 years twenty years ago, and within 50 years 10 years ago, are happening now. Instead of fighting a delaying, rear-guard action against big, dynamic change in energy production, wouldn’t it be better for our company to set the standard for transformation? It seems we have the most to lose, and, therefore, the most to gain.
Unless there is some unexpected reversal in the climate change trends which have been occurring for decades, it seems inevitable that National Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards (RPS) will be legislated well before the end of this decade. Moody’s cited this likelihood in their recent credit downgrade of Southern Company. Since it seems highly unlikely that biomass and nuclear will be considered renewable energy sources under a RPS, where will Southern Company acquire mandated renewable energy — perhaps 20% or more of the total mix by 2020? And will the PSC allow us to load our full profits to rates for this energy on top of the big profits to the probable merchant suppliers, such as West Texas Wind?
I have heard reports that Santee Cooper in South Carolina and
Duke Energy in North Carolina are exploring the possibility of a joint venture to develop off-shore wind. Wouldn’t it be advantageous to ally with them in a joint venture? The Carolinas have a very long coast and very good wind resources, and a combined effort could reduce risk for all of us and significantly increase our combined political leverage. If we do not create some credible Georgia renewable energy resource, isn’t it possible that we will be forced to buy wind power from the Carolinas at an exorbitant rate within the next decade?
Between the likelihood of carbon pricing and a National Renewable Energy Standard, it seems almost certain that Southern Company’s extreme reliance on coal fired power generation will be significantly reduced, voluntarily or by fiat, this decade. Nuclear seems more unlikely and expensive a salvation than ever. Isn’t it time we changed course and embraced proven and rapidly improving solar and wind technology before we are forced into them by National mandate?
According to the information on your climate change Web site, Southern Company supports the target of an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050. Can you tell us the approximate mix of nuclear, renewables, and efficiency that you envision to reach that goal?