New energy struggles on its way to markets

From The New York Times: New Energy Struggles on Its Way to Markets — To stave off climate change, sources of electricity that do not emit carbon will have to replace the ones that do. But at the moment, two of those largest sources, nuclear and wind power, are trying to kill each other off.

In the electricity market, both are squeezed by pressure from natural gas, which provides some carbon reductions compared with coal but will not bring the country anywhere near its goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Natural gas has a carbon footprint that is at least three times as large as that goal.

Energy companies announced this year that five nuclear reactors would be closing or not reopening, and the owners blamed competition from natural gas and wind. In the Pacific Northwest, wind and hydroelectricity — neither of which produce carbon — are sparring to push each other off the regional power grid.

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One thought on “New energy struggles on its way to markets

  1. If we look at the Ohio “Pillars of Energy” view of energy sources…and I continue to think this is a valid approach…the one missing pillar is “money.”

    While I think I am basically a free-market supporter, the problem we have in energy is the differences in lag times in getting new sources invented and running. While low cost of natural gas will drive out nuclear and already is having an impact on coal…is the speed of providing low cost gas a factor in destabilizing or stabilizing what a sustainable energy ‘program’ might look like and/or need to be.

    If one pillar dominates…it suggest the ‘energy platform’ it supports may be unstable. The platform rides on one column. If that column can see itself exporting to the world…the price shifts. If we exhaust the source (and we will exhaust shale) we see the economics shift to other energy…will that happen fast enough or will the platform start to rock and roll.

    Any suggestions and discussion on this would be of value.