No New Coal or Nuclear...Ever (!)

I'm not sure how I missed this last week, but it is well worth reposting. The chairman of the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has stated that the US may never again need to build a new coal or nuclear power plant. He argues that smarter grids along with better storage for renewables will make new conventional baseload capacity unnecessary. Many people have made the argument before. But its sure was a surprise to see it coming from such a highly placed official in the US government. More from the article after the jump.

Here's a short clip from the NYT article:


"I think baseload capacity is going to become an anachronism," he said. "Baseload capacity really used to only mean in an economic dispatch, which you dispatch first, what would be the cheapest thing to do. Well, ultimately wind's going to be the cheapest thing to do, so you'll dispatch that first."

He added, "People talk about, 'Oh, we need baseload.' It's like people saying we need more computing power, we need mainframes. We don't need mainframes, we have distributed computing."

The technology for renewable energies has come far enough to allow his vision to move forward, he said. For instance, there are systems now available for concentrated solar plants that can provide 15 hours of storage."


As covered here as well, it looks like the nuclear industry is in for hard times.

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This is a blog for news and views on the future of sustainable cites. A major revamp is in the works. Until then I am keeping this version up as an archive of my past writing.

You can expect occasional updates, but not with the same frequency as in the past.

You can also find my writing on urban redesign and sustainability in ReNew Canada, The Mark, Sustainable Cities Canada, WorldChanging, and other more specialized academic publications.

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