Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Illinois Nukes Demand Share of Green Payouts

Nuclear Demands a share of Illinois Carbon Subsidies
Illinois nuclear plant operators have demanded more subsidies, to help keep unprofitable nuclear plants open, to prevent a surge of fossil fuel usage which they claim will occur if they are closed. If the British experience is any guide, this is just the beginning.
Nuclear Power Fights for a Spot in Illinois’ Clean Energy Future
State lawmakers are debating whether to keep ailing nuclear plants alive. The outcome will set a precedent for more states to come.
With hard times setting in for some nuclear power plants, Illinois state legislators are trying to decide whether they should put nuclear facilities on life support, or lay them to rest early.
A combination of market forces and policy choices has made the nuclear business tougher in recent years, and that’s the case at two facilities in Illinois operated by Exelon. The company is telling lawmakers that the money-losing reactors will have to be brought offline prematurely unless the state lends support. That would result in lost jobs and a big dip in the state’s capacity to produce electricity—one that could have dirty, carbon-burning power plants stepping up to close the gap. With jobs, tax dollars, and environmental quality at stake, it’s turned into a dramatic battle in the final days of the state’s legislative session.
Exelon is searching for a way to subsidize the struggling plants, arguing that the steady, zero-carbon energy source is a public good worthy of public support. One idea in particular is dividing environmental groups: Should nuclear plants, by virtue of being carbon-free, be grouped in with solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources in state initiatives to clean up the grid? It’s a dilemma that could soon spill over into other states as the business and policy landscapes change around clean energy.
Read more: http://www.citylab.com/politics/2016/05/illinois-exelon-nuclear-power-plants-renewable-energy-portfolio/484046/
It's hard to argue with their rationale, but while the ostensible reason for the subsidies are to help fund non-carbon producing forms of power for the future, the real reason was to subsidize energy sources that liberals like that don't produce enough power to matter.

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