Quotable enegy quotes

“Iowa has the most reliable electric grid in the country, and the average energy cost for all sectors here is the sixth cheapest in the nation.”

– Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, in an op-ed touting her state’s embrace of wind power, which has created 9,000 jobs and generated more than $13.5 billion in investments.

Read more
“While it appears $4.5 billion is a big number, if you built a central-station generation facility like a coal unit or something like that, it would be as big or bigger, but much more risky.”

– American Electric Power CEO Nick Akins, commenting on his company’s plans to spend $4.5 billion acquiring an 800-turbine Oklahoma wind project, the biggest in the United States.

Read more
“If Duke and Southern Co. couldn’t do it, who is the Navajo Nation going to find who can do it? There’s no evidence that this can be done economically or reliably.”

– David Schlissel, director of resource planning analysis at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, reacting to statements by Navajo tribal officials that they are considering building a coal gasification plant on the site of Navajo Generating Station after it is decommissioned in 2019.

Read more
“The only thing different between this year and previous years is that our political leaders, their lobbyist friends, and the billionaire coal tycoons are cutting safety regulations in order to make an additional dollar.”

– Gary Bentley, a former underground coal miner from Eastern Kentucky, writing about the rise in work-related coal mine deaths this year, even as the number of workers and mine output shrink. Nationally, there have already been more deaths in the first half of 2017 than in the entire previous year.

Read more
“In the first year alone, the [Pueblo County School] District saved $35,000. Over the life of the [community solar] program, those savings will exceed $2 million. That’s enough to buy a Chromebook for 7 out of ten kids in the District. It’s enough to pay all 32 employees at Prairie Winds Elementary for a year.”

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., in an op-ed extolling the virtues of community solar programs. Bennet has introduced legislation in Congress to make permanent a Department of Energy program to promote community solar, especially in low-income communities.

Read more
Trying to keep aging coal and nuclear plants operating “may end up raising rather than lowering the average cost of wholesale electricity for many customers.”

– from a leaked draft of a politically motivated analysis commissioned by Energy Secretary Rick Perry that was supposed to question whether renewable energy policies or regulations have harmed grid reliability and accelerated the retirement of coal and nuclear plants, but which actually showed the opposite to be true.

Read more
“Solar reduces the cost of home ownership, it makes houses sell faster, it returns more to a builder, it makes local jobs, and most importantly, it reduces carbon emissions today to help our children and grandchildren have a better future tomorrow.”

— South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard, whose monthly electric bill is about $10, after the city passed a measure requiring new houses to install solar panels.

Read more
“Donald Trump has used the phrase ‘clean coal’ probably a thousand times, and it doesn’t exist in the real world right now.”

– Billionaire Tom Steyer in an interview on Bloomberg TV

Read more
“None of our people are ever going to be building a coal plant again. It’s devoid of reality.”

– an unidentified utility executive reacting to meetings between power sector leaders and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt about the future of the Clean Power Plan and utilities’ desire to see some sort of carbon regulation rather than having the Trump Administration simply erase the CPP.

Read more
“Because of the low natural gas prices and expanded renewable generating capacity, wholesale electric market prices over recent years have frequently been too low to merit economic dispatch of coal generating capacity.”

–  From the 20-year integrated resource plan filed by Boise, Idaho-based Idaho Power with the state’s Public Utilities Commission. The utility’s plans include retiring its shares in at least three coal-burning power plants throughout the West.

Read more
“I don’t see any problems with reliability, and I say bring on more renewables.”

– Colette Honorable, a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, speaking at a conference sponsored by the federal Energy Information Administration.

Read more
“Coal is now largely irrelevant in New England.”

– Gordon van Welie, president and CEO of ISO New England in a story about grid reliability remaining stable even as coal continues to fall off as a baseload electricity generating resource.

Read more
The Mississippi Pubic Service Commission requests a “solution that eliminates ratepayer risk for unproven technology and assures no rate increase.”

– Mississippi Public Service Commission in a news release directed at Southern Co. subsidiary Mississippi Power, in which it gave the utility 45 days to abandon its beleaguered and massively over-budget seven-year, $7.5 billion effort to construct a carbon-capture-and-storage coal-burning power plant.

Read more
“Coal’s competitive advantage is fast evaporating. It cannot compete with renewables on cost, and storage and smart management of the grid have made the need for new baseload redundant. Coal is yesterday’s technology – the only thing new coal has going for it is inertia.”

– Kobad Bhavnagri, the lead author of Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s New Energy Outlook 2017 in Asia-Pacific report.

Read more
“The whole utility paradigm has shifted. We really are doing our ratepayers a disservice by not considering all viable options.”

– Reiko Kerr, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s senior assistant general manager of power systems, regarding a decision by the utility to put a hold on a $2.2 billion plan to rebuild several old natural gas power plants while it studies clean energy alternatives.

Read more
“The cost declines that we are seeing with these technologies are so steep that it becomes a matter of time as to when they start crossing over and becoming competitive in different ways. These things are getting cheaper faster than we thought even a year ago.”

–  Seb Henbest, lead author of Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s latest annual New Energy Outlook report, discussing the predicted dominance of solar, renewables and lithium-ion batteries in the global energy mix by 2040.

Read more
“A lot of West Virginians understood that they were rolling the dice with Trump. …  [They] realize there is not going to be a gigantic return of coal.”

– West Virginia professor and historian Chuck Keeney, who has written extensively on the state’s coal industry and its miners,

Read more
“I’ve not spoken to a single utility that’s truly holding on to a future of more coal.”

– Brian Janous, who directs energy strategy at Microsoft, quoted in a story about the effect that Fortune 500 companies are having on the electricity sector as they commit to running their businesses on 100 percent renewable energy and pressure utilities to provide them the sources to do so.

Read more
“When [coal-fired power plants] are only running at 50 percent, the math just doesn’t pencil out. The business plans that justified them no longer exist, so they are just not profitable in current conditions.”

– Rob Godby, director of the Center for Energy Economics and Public Policy at the University of Wyoming, explaining how coal is being forced out of energy markets across the country, especially in the East, where cheaper energy like wind and hydro, always sell first on the open market.

Read more
“It’s the least cost renewable we can add to our system by far.”

– Stefan Bird, CEO of Pacific Power, whose parent company plans to build a major wind farm in Wyoming, one of several massive wind projects planned in the state to serve growing demand for clean energy on the West Coast.

Read more
“We are making investments to create a smarter, more resilient and efficient grid that supports the integration of new technologies and cleaner resources to meet the energy needs of our customers.”

– From American Electric Power’s 2017 annual report, which details the utility’s plans to invest $13 billion in transmission and distribution systems and $1.5 billion in new renewable energy, as it dramatically shrinks its coal portfolio.

Read more
“Even though we are in the foothills of coal country, it was not outrageous for us to look at energy efficiency and renewable energy as one of the pathways to helping this community transform.”

– Bobby Clark of Midwest Clean Energy Enterprise.Clark, on efforts to rebuild West Liberty, Kentucky with a master plan based on green buildings and renewable energy after much of it was destroyed by a tornado in 2012.

Image: KY Court of Justice via flickr creative commons license.

Read more
“We have got a big appetite for wind or solar. If someone walks in with a solar project tomorrow and it takes a billion dollars or three billion dollars, we’re ready to do it. The more there is the better.”

– Warren Buffett, speaking to investors at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholders meeting.

Read more
“When are we ever going to be economically free, not serfs to the coal industry, unless there is economic diversity?”

– Filmmaker Mari-Lynn Evans, whose documentary “Blood on the Mountain” explores the troubled history of West Virginia’s coal industry, as quoted in a story about the state’s efforts to revitalize its economy independent of coal.

Read more
“Market prices were kept low and highly competitive by improved hydro-electric conditions, moderate loads and the addition of about 2,300 megawatts of summer capacity — consisting mostly of solar generation.”

– From a market report by California’s grid operator showing that wholesale power prices fell 9 percent in 2016, spurred by a decline in natural gas prices, improved hydropower conditions and about 1,900 megawatts of new peak summer generating capacity from solar resources,

Read more
“If you are tied to coal, you’ve got problems.”

– Warren Buffett, speaking to shareholders at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska.

Image: Fortune Live Media via flickr Creative Commons

Read more
 “The future for coal in the United States? There is no future.”

– Former Duke Energy CEO and Chairman Jim Rogers, speaking at the release of a new report calling coal’s decline one of the most “spectacular market collapses in equity history.” The combined market value of the four largest U.S. coal companies fell from $33 billion to $150 million in five short years.

Read more
“Responsible policymakers should be honest about what’s going on in the U.S. coal sector – including the causes of coal’s decline and unlikeliness of its resurgence – rather than offer false hope that the glory days can be revived.”

– From an analysis examining the prospects for a recovery of U.S. coal production and employment, which concludes that President Trump’s efforts to roll back environmental regulations are unlikely to materially improve economic conditions in America’s coal communities.

Read more
“At the end of the day, West Virginia may not require us to be clean, but our customers are. So if we want to bring in those jobs – and those are good jobs, those are good-paying jobs … we have to be mindful of what our customers want.”

– Chris Beam, the new president of Appalachian Power, on historic changes in the electric power industry and why his company is not planning to build any more coal-burning power plants, choosing instead to emphasize cleaner sources of power.

Read more
“Our statutory duty is to produce electricity at the lowest feasible rate. … We weren’t trying to comply with the Clean Power Plan or anything else. What’s the cheapest way to serve the customer? It turned out to be retiring those coal plants.”

– Tennessee Valley Authority CEO Bill Johnson on how little Donald Trump’s pro-coal policies are likely to affect his utility’s plans. TVA is on track to retire five of its original 11 coal-fired power plants by the end of 2018.

Read more