Energy / FirstEnergy

Exelon-style nuke bailouts threaten wind, solar

Nuclear plants like Davis-Besse aren’t going to be around forever. They are going to hit their natural retirement age in the 2030s.

NEW YORK, NY — “The push to save U.S. nuclear plants for the sake of fighting climate change is threatening support for the bread and butter of clean power: wind and solar.

New York and Illinois have already approved as much as $10 billion in subsidies to keep struggling reactors open for the next decade as part of a plan to limit fossil fuel consumption. Lawmakers in Ohio, Connecticut and New Jersey are debating whether to do the same.

The reactors, which are being squeezed by low natural gas prices, offer a singular advantage in the fight against global warming because they produce round-the-clock electricity without emitting greenhouse gases. Yet renewable energy operators including NRG Energy Inc. and Invenergy LLC say keeping nuclear plants open will leave grids awash with excess power, leaving little demand for new wind and solar farms.

‘It’s the wrong policy — and whether it proliferates or not is going to be a really big factor,’ Invenergy Chief Operating Officer Jim Murphy said during a panel discussion at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance conference in New York Monday.”

Bloomberg News

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