May 5, 2011, WASHINGTON, (Coal Geology) – Baseload power plants produce about 80% of the nation’s electricity so it is particularly alarming how few baseload plants are under construction or have been completed recently. At this rate, the aging baseload fleet will not be completely replaced with modern nuclear, coal and natural gas combined cycle plants for 70 years or longer.
Looming in coming years is the need to retire the oldest nuclear and coal plants. But this will be impractical unless the pace of baseload construction increases significantly.
The report, “States’ Best Practices Attracting Baseload Investment,” prepared by Build Energy America, identifies whole regions of the country that have effectively halted modernizing their baseload fleet. No baseload plants are under construction or have been completed since 2009 in most of New England, the mid-Atlantic, upper Midwest and Pacific Northwest.
The contrast with China is stark. “… while opponents to coal projects in the U.S. furiously fight, let’s say, a proposal to build a single 500 megawatt plant, an equivalent amount of coal capacity and source of carbon dioxide emissions is being brought on-line in China every three or four days!”
The report’s key findings:
Over 20 states are neglecting the need to modernize baseload, generally because of a regulatory “culture of inaction.”
The 15 best practices states attract baseload investment with a balanced regulatory culture that is timely and fact-based.
The key best practices are easily identified and can be instituted in any state.
Build Energy America’s president Steve Mitnick said:
“It was astonishing how pathetic the nation has become in modernizing the vital baseload fleet outside of a few states like Texas and North Carolina. This should be a wake-up call, especially for the many states that are treating baseload as if it’s passe.”
To download a copy of the report, visit http://www.BuildEnergyAmerica.org.
About Build Energy America
Based in Washington D.C., it is a non-partisan not-for-profit research group for utilities and energy companies focused on the need for greater investment in the backbone energy infrastructure. Research reports address different benefits of infrastructure investment, constraints holding back investment and regulatory reforms.
SOURCE Build Energy America
CONTACT: Steve Mitnick, Build Energy America, +1-202-220-3115
Web Site: http://www.buildenergyamerica.org/