The controversial Trump Administration plan to nationalize the nuclear energy marketplace could cost U.S. consumers up to $17 billion a year in artificially high electricity bills, with the prospect of extensive coal-fired power plant subsidies potentially doubling that figure. Further, the bailouts of nuclear and coal could trip up America‘s renewables industry, leaving the U.S. even further behind in the global race for clean energy technology development and deployment, according to three experts participating in a news conference today. Today, the Nuclear Information & Resource Service (NIRS) updated and expanded the nuclear bailout costs estimated in its November 2016 report that concluded that federal handouts for nuclear alone could add up to $280 billion to electricity bills by 2030. A bailout of coal-fired power plants would leave ratepayers and taxpayers holding the bag for even more. NIRS estimates that the current Trump bailout scheme could cost consumers $8-$17 billion for just the nuclear element and as much again for coal subsidies.
NIRS 6th June 2018 read more »
Donald Trump hopes to save America’s failing coal-fired power plants. REPUBLICANS have long prided themselves on their commitment to free markets. These days, however, there seem to be fewer and fewer industries in which the GOP is unwilling to intervene. On June 1st—just as America’s fellow members of the G7, a club of the world’s biggest economies, were condemning Donald Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminium at a meeting in Canada—the president announced a new regulatory plan for America’s energy market. The proposal, which was detailed in a 41-page memo circulated among senior White House staff, would prop up ailing coal- and nuclear-power generators by forcing electricity-grid operators to buy energy from unprofitable plants. The official justification for the policy was national security.
Economist 6th June 2018 read more »
President Donald Trump’s tariff on imported solar panels has led U.S. renewable energy companies to cancel or freeze investments of more than $2.5 billion in large installation projects, along with thousands of jobs, the developers told Reuters.
Reuters 7th June 2018 read more »
Here’s why Trump’s new strategy to keep ailing coal and nuclear plants open makes no sense. President Donald Trump recently ordered Energy Secretary Rick Perry to take “immediate steps” to stop the closure of coal and nuclear power plants. And according to a draft memo that surfaced the same day, the federal government may establish a “Strategic Electric Generation Reserve” to purchase electricity from coal and nuclear plants for two years. Both proposals, which have garnered little support, are premised on these power plants being essential to national security. If implemented, the government would be activating emergency powers rarely tapped before for any purpose. Based on my four decades of experience as a utility regulatory attorney and law professor, I can see why this proposal has caused much controversy, partly because of how energy markets work. The share of power generated by nuclear reactors, despite holding steady at about one-fifth of the national grid since 2000, is about to slide. More than 1 in 10 of the nation’s nuclear reactors are likely to be decommissioned by 2025. If completed, the only two large-scale ones under construction will cost far more than originally planned. But are experts worried about any electricity shortages or outages between now and 2025? Well, no. Other alternatives, mainly natural gas, wind and solar energy are poised to keep filling the gaps created in recent years by other coal plant closures.
The Conversation 6th June 2018 read more »