October 11, 2017 Read More →

U.S. Power Companies Say They Will Continue Shift to Renewables Regardless of What Trump Wants

Wall Street Journal:

Some of the biggest U.S. power companies said they are pushing ahead with investments in renewable and gas-fired electricity and are including climate change as a part of their corporate strategy, regardless of the Trump administration’s plans to roll back Obama-era environmental rules.

Some sizable power companies, such as American Electric Power Co., NRG Energy Inc. and Southern Co., said Tuesday the move will have only a marginal effect on their planning. Cheap fuel, improving technology and consumer demand are creating a market for cleaner energy that is largely unaffected by what is happening in Washington.

The Trump administration argues that the Obama rules weren’t allowed under the Clean Air Act—an issue that will likely be argued in court for years.

A generational shift in the energy industry was happening long before that tug of war in federal government. Power plants cut their carbon dioxide by 25% between 2005 and 2016, a trend that is likely to continue, according to the Edison Electric Institute, an industry group.

Cheap natural gas from the shale-drilling boom and more-efficient power plants have run coal-burning rivals out of business. Advancements in wind and solar power, with help from subsidies, have cut emissions, too. And confronted with the risks of climate change and how governments might deal with it, power companies now expect the cost of carbon emissions to rise and plan on ways to reduce them.

“This will not change our planning process,” a spokesman at Southern Co. said of the EPA’s move on Tuesday.

More: ($) Power Companies to Stick With Plans Despite EPA’s Emissions Repeal: Cheap fuel, technology and consumer preferences are driving demand for cleaner energy