Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Carbon use limits

Saw an article in last weeks State Paper that piqued my interest. But due to time constraints and all the happenings of last week I didn't have the time to post about it. It's about South Carolina's largest power producers and their complaining about Carbon use limits. The coal lobby of course has a strangle-hold on South Carolina, a new plant is going up in the Pee Dee despite much opposition, I suppose I should be happy that the construction is being delayed due to other governmental and judicial action, but that's only going to be piped to the consumer when they have to pay more. But back to the article - what's interesting is it's call for and support of Nuclear energy.

"During an information meeting with the S.C. Public Service Commission on Wednesday, officials representing the state’s largest utilities and power cooperatives said
nuclear power is the best long-term option for making sure the lights stay on statewide."

Of course you all know how I feel about Nuclear energy - I'm a huge supporter, and think there is a possible link between the miniaturization and growing efficiency of Nuclear reactors that it could be a boon for the SC Economy on it's way to becoming the premier spot for fuel cell research and manufacturing. (See here and here) Some more from the article on the reasoning behind the support of Nuclear power:

"The utilities argue nuclear power will help them avoid some of the anticipated costs associated with phasing out coal under a federally run system that caps or taxes carbon releases into the air. Utilities will either have to pay a tax on coal use or buy coal-use credits. Limits on coal use could cause the wholesale price of electricity to increase 35 percent to 70 percent in 2015 depending on other technologies, Couick said. “The higher the carbon price, the better nuclear looks,” said Janice Hager of Duke Energy."

I say bring on the tax! The irony about thisis essentially the main coal power producers, despite their lobbying group, are admitting that they're a dirty industry that can't be 'cleaned,' which is why they're even remotely considering the switch.

But is Nuclear the only option for South Carolina's 'energy mix'? Apparently these leading industry executives think so:

The utilities fear federal rules also will require a certain amount of power generation to use renewable fuel sources. South Carolina’s utilities do not have a lot of other options. Currently the available technology does not make solar, wind and thermal power generation realistic alternatives, said Robert Long of SCANA. Under a best-case scenario, given the currently available technology, renewable energy sources could realistically generate possibly 5 percent of South Carolina’s electricity needs.

I smell something funky -- what is that, oh it's BS! Come now, we might not have the wind in our sails, but we break enough of it everyday, and all over the place! And let's not forget the potential for using solar energy. I'm already all over the good people of Cheraw, SC who have on average at least 300 days of sunshine (no over cast, nor percipitation) and they're not alone in SC!!(take time to read that one!)

But what do I know, I'm not a big executive with the State's Utilities, so my opinion matters naught to them.

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