Associated Press: Tennessee Nuclear Plant Nearly Done, 36 Years Later
If nothing else, the second reactor at the Watts Bar nuclear site in Tennessee is a cautionary tale for the power industry. When it's finished, it will provide enough electricity to power about 650,000 homes in the Tennessee Valley. The cost of running a nuclear plant is relatively steady, and it does not produce greenhouse gases and other air pollutants.
But they are enormously expensive and complicated to build. The project ran decades late. In the early years, workers struggled to meet safety rules and ran up billion-dollar cost overruns.
New York Times: Alaska’s Tricky Intersection of Obama’s Energy and Climate Legacies
President Obama’s move to open up vast, untouched Arctic waters to oil and gas drilling as he pursues an ambitious plan to fight climate change illustrates the inherent tensions in his environmental and energy agenda.
As the first president to seriously tackle climate change, Mr. Obama has proposed aggressive new rules to cut planet-warming carbon emissions from the nation’s power plants and is pushing for a major global warming accord. He has also overseen an extraordinary boom in domestic energy production that has made the United States the world’s leading oil producer.
Energy Collective: The German 'Energiewende' -- Finally One Step Too Far?
Back in March, it was first reported that German utility E.ON was contemplating mothballing one of the most efficient power plants in Europe, a gas-fired high-efficiency combined-cycle gas turbine power plant called ‘Irsching 4 and 5’ in the southern state of Bavaria -- which only went on-line in 2010.
Then, generally citing adverse market conditions -- increased power supply from subsidized renewables (feed-in tariffs), comparatively high European natural-gas pricing, and overall low wholesale power prices -- E.ON said it would be impossible to “supply power at market conditions profitably” and cover the plants’ operating costs beyond 2016.
Where exactly the German Federal Network Agency eventually comes down with its decision regarding the shutdown of the Irsching gas power plant will be a crucial test case with respect to the future path of the Energiewende.
Bloomberg: PNE Wind CEO Says Europe Ready for More Clean-Energy YieldCos
Europe is ready for more clean-energy YieldCos like PNE Wind AG’s planned initial public offering of 150 megawatts of grid-connected wind farm projects, Chief Executive Officer Martin Billhardt said.
In the current market, each megawatt of capacity is valued at as much as 2.5 million euros ($2.8 million), Billhardt said Monday in a phone interview. The German developer is in talks with “large, experienced” U.S. and U.K. investment banks to prepare the sale, he said.
Oil Price: Statoil Undergoing Big Changes Under New CEO
Eldar Saetre has been shaking up the leadership of Norway’s government-owned energy company since he took over as CEO three months ago, and he doesn’t seem ready to stop. He has already ousted some top managers, including its chairman, and on May 12 he announced a series of new plans for executives.
One of these plans, and perhaps the most intriguing, is setting up New Energy Solutions (NES), a division that will focus on renewable energy -- profitable renewable energy. The company said in a statement that the new unit will be led by Executive Vice President Irene Rummelhoff, who was previously the director of exploration in Norway.