61 item(s) were returned.
In late September, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) for consideration by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Using §403, a little-used provision in the DOE Organization Act of 1977, Secretary Perry proposed that FERC, an independent agency, exercise its authority to establish just and reasonable rates for wholesale electricity sales in the name of grid resiliency. Specifically, the NOPR requires ISO’s and RTO’s create special cost of service compensation for certain types of generation that DOE alleges are essential to protecting grid reliability and resiliency. Facilities would be eligible for this special, non-market… [more]View Insight
Kadak Associates, Inc.
There is an inconvenient and uncomfortable truth that nuclear energy is a significant non-CO2 source of electrical power in the U.S. Despite the dramatic expansion of solar and wind, these alternative forms of energy only provide 15% of non-CO2 emitting power nationwide. Nuclear energy on the other hand, provides 63% of all CO2-free sources. Often when a utility decides to shut down a nuclear plant it is replaced by natural gas. But replacing nuclear with “clean” natural gas only adds to the global CO2 load. In fact, each 1,000 megawatts of nuclear power replaced by natural gas adds 3.6 million… [more]View Insight
Attitudes towards climate change vary. Some have doubts, but even fish know better as they migrate north to cooler waters. Meanwhile, advocates agree that human influence is clear, but they are divided on how to address climate change, with too much focus on individual energy sources when in reality all non-carbon sources of energy have major problems. The divisions amongst advocates can undermine national energy policies and render U.S. policymakers ineffective. But most importantly, divisions amongst advocates rallying for an ‘all-solar,’ ‘all-nuclear,’ or ‘all-anything’ energy system ignore large problems facing a carbon-free future and risk climate change failure. There are… [more]View Insight
J.C. Ward Jr. Professor of Nuclear Energy Engineering
“Sustainable future” advocates seem to believe that solar, wind and hydro-electricity will eventually make up close to 100% of our energy generation, but there are benefits to having “central station” power plants in addition to distributed power generation. If the goal is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while assuring the health of our economy, the most viable way of generating central station power at present is nuclear fission. Central station power complements distributive power generation in two important ways. Central station power plants are better able produce power on a small area relatively close to where the energy will… [more]View Insight
Professor of Physics
City College of the City University of New York
The low cost and abundance of natural gas is rapidly causing utility companies to replace coal plants and aging nuclear power plants with gas-fired power plants. The widespread transition to natural gas highlights a need for the nuclear industry to focus on innovation as a means of regaining its competitiveness. Yet innovation requires long-term investment, and the nuclear sector faces structural difficulties in procuring the necessary funds to develop promising technologies. Republicans, who now control both houses of Congress, draw a strong distinction between basic research, which they generally accept as a federal responsibility, and applied research, which they believe… [more]View Insight
Kadak Associates, Inc.
Today there are 100 nuclear plants operating in the United States, providing roughly 17% of our electricity. They do so with water technology developed in the 1960’s and 1970’s and many of these plants are extending their licenses from 40 to 60 years after careful regulatory review. Even new design nuclear plants such as Westinghouse’s AP-1000 and General Electric’s ESBWR are fundamentally the same technology, which are described as evolutionary. Yet today there are many new innovative designs and technologies that are being developed that are not water based. These innovators face enormous challenges in coming up with new designs… [more]View Insight
An analysis has been made to determine if there would be enough electricity in the US by 2050 to support a carbon-free future to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Assuming that carbon capture and sequestration is not practical, a mix of nuclear and renewable energy power plants was examined. Existing fossil power plants and nuclear plants represent 86% of the electricity that was produced in 2012. By 2050, to be carbon-free, all of these fossil plants would have to be phased out, while all present nuclear plants would have reached the end of their operating licenses. According to… [more]View Insight
Kadak Associates, Inc.
Without significant gains in storage technology, electric generation from solar and wind will not meet the world’s energy needs. Nuclear power, however, can deliver electric power in a sufficiently safe, economical and secure manner to supplement supply from other carbon-free sources. Despite this, there remain major objections to the safety, cost, waste management and proliferation risk of nuclear power, which I’ll seek to address here. Safety There have been three serious accidents that challenged the safety record of nuclear power: the Three Mile Island (TMI), Chernobyl, and the tsunami-induced Fukushima accident. In all these accidents there were no immediate public… [more]View Insight
Senior Regulatory Attorney
Environmental Defense Fund
Two seemingly unrelated announcements drew much attention in the electric utility industry recently. First, the Edison Electric Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council jointly recommended changing how utilities should be regulated. Second, Duke Energy announced it will sell 13 Midwest merchant power plants. These announcements are actually related, and arise because the traditional utility business model is crumbling, due to several factors: Load growth has declined, due to a slowing economy and greater use of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Utilities are no longer able to obtain economies of scale by building ever-larger plants. New regulations have resulted in… [more]View Insight
University Distinguished Professor
Michigan State University, Dept. of Chemical Engineering
It is clear that the Age of Oil is winding down. Worldwide, the rate of discovery of new oil reserves peaked in the 1960s and in the US our peak rate of oil discovery occurred in the early 1930s. In recent years the world has used about three barrels of oil for every barrel of new oil reserves discovered. Thus we are living largely on past oil discoveries. There is still a lot of oil in the world, and we will still be using a lot of oil decades from now. But it will be increasingly expensive both economically and… [more]View Insight