Accelerating Use of Renewable Energy
US energy policy is stuck on reliance on natural gas. Most Americans understand that by the middle of the century most of our energy will have to be supplied by renewables -- wind, water and solar -- but we seem content to use natural gas for the foreseeable future.
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#1 Mar 29, 2014
"That leads to the second factor, capital. Even though conversion to renewables makes economic sense, in the long run, it will take a lot of capital to get there. If tomorrow, California shut down our one nuclear facility we would have an electricity problem. Even though it doesn't take that long, comparatively, to install solar and wind farms, we would have to build them and the transmission lines to move electricity to where it is needed."
The State and the ratepayers still don't know for sure what it will cost to decommission a nuclear plant, like San Onofre. SCE has been charging ratepayers a charge for plant decommissioning for thirty years and at last accounting, they figure they will need another 1.8 billion to do the job of dismantling the plant. The CPUC will have to deal with this cost increase sooner or later. All the while, the ratepayers are not getting a product for their increase in electric rates. A lot of the new solar plants being proposed and put online have NO storage for excess power or are all solar PV. With this in mind, why don't we install solar PV on the roofs of say 140,000 homes instead of building a massive plant in the desert and then have to "ship" the power to market over new power corridors? David Crane CEO of NRG energy is looking forward to the future. He wants the Utility to get into the leased solar PV rooftop business and he wants to develop and sell a combined power plant for homes that uses solar PV, backup batteries and a natural gas generator set to power a home.
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