How will the energy landscape change after EPAs new emissions rule?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established new rules on greenhouse gases, accelerating a shift to cleaner fuels, renewable energy and consumer choice.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “utility companies and state regulators will need to rewire the electrical grid to accommodate more renewable power.”
The new rule states that carbon emissions must be reduced 32 percent by 2030, requiring billions of dollars in investments to pay for new transmission lines that accommodate for more solar and wind power. New pipelines to fuel natural gas-fired generation will also be required.
“Utilities already are moving in that direction by retiring coal plants and adding renewables,” Nick Akins, chief executive of Ohio-based American Electric Power Co., one of the nation’s biggest utilities, which has been a major user of coal, told WSJ.
Akins added that executives are worried about the plan’s cost, partly because it could result in shuttering power plants that are yet to be paid off.
The new rule “will act like an accelerant,” Ted Craver, chief executive of California-based Edison International, parent of Southern California Edison, added. “Now all the states will have to grapple with the need to reduce carbon emissions.”
The final rule will call for the nation to get 28 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2030, versus the roughly 13 percent it got last year. States will have to put in place compliance plans by 2018 and meet their first targets for reductions by 2022.
“Things are moving so fast,” said Michael Picker, president of the California Public Utilities Commission, the state’s utility regulator. “Every executive I talk with says there’s been more change in the past five to seven years than in the last 100 years. And it will accelerate now.”
[SOURCE: Wall Street Journal]
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.