It looks like the love affair with wind may be waning. Will the next big push be for solar?
Power Generation to Get Much Cleaner
The energy generation fleet of America is going to be cleaner in decades to come, one industry leader predicts. And solar will be playing an increasingly important role, according to the head of a solar association.
Thomas Kuhn, president and chief executive of the Edison Electric Institute, said, “We want a cleaner, more modern energy fleet by 2021,” The EEI represents the nation’s investor-owned utilities. Kuhn made his comments at the U.S. Energy Association State of the Energy Industry Forum in Washington earlier this month.
Transforming energy generation in America, Kuhn said, “will be expensive but it won’t have a major effect on ratepayers.” That is because the utility sector is already dealing with a rising tide of expenditures.
Last year, utilities spent more than $80 billion in capital expenditures on generation, transmission and distribution, Kuhn said. That doubled the amount spent in 2004. “We have to raise a lot of capital.”
Kuhn will be speaking about the technological, financial and regulatory trends shaping the future of the industry at the EnergyBiz Leadership Forum in Washington, Feb. 27 – March 1.
“We are going to see a much cleaner, modernized energy fleet,” Kuhn said. “We have a vision for the next decade.” While as much as one-fifth of the coal fleet will be retired in the next decade, clean coal will still have a role to play. “Coal is the backbone of the electric system,” Kuhn said.
Rhone Resch, president and chief executive of the Solar Energy Industries Association, predicted that solar is about to get much more competitive in price with conventional forms of generation like coal-fired and natural gas fueled generation.
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