Spring Forum Panelists Discuss Energy Opportunities and Policy Expectations
From McCombs TODAY
April 13, 2011
Compared with the blithe tone in which renewable energy is often promoted in the media, the mood surrounding the economics of energy is sobering.
Consider, for instance, these take-aways from energy and financial industry panelists at UT’s Energy Management and Innovation Center’s (EMIC) Spring Forum, “The Economics of Electricity Generation.” held March 24, 2011:
- China will overtake the U.S. as the largest electricity generator in the next decade.
- Texas is the 11th largest power market in the world.
- Current U.S. electric capacity far exceeds demand.
- A federal carbon tax is very unlikely in the near future.
- Nuclear energy is expensive and risky (see Fukushima).
- Solar and wind energy are a hard sell in light of cheaper prices in the future.
“Nuclear is the only zero-carbon source of energy that can run around the clock” said Steven Corneli, senior vice president of NRG Energy, a Fortune 250 wholesale power generation company headquartered in New Jersey.
Corneli said nuclear power needs to be seen as a global industry, since any mishap can affect us all. “Nuclear needs to be safe, affordable and scalable in all countries, not just the U.S., because we all are exposed to hazards of unsafe construction.”
The construction of nuclear power plants is currently very expensive, he conceded, but the price will come down as more start to be built...
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