I was up in Michigan for a week and had the chance to visit the wind farm near Ludington and Lake Michigan. It is an impressive 100MW facility that appears to co-exist well with the agriculture and residential in the area. More information can be found at Lake Winds Energy Park – and formal tours are available.
So the Michigan wind farm was on my mind when I read on Reuters about Duke Energy walking away (for now) from a nuclear project in Florida. Duke cited “delays in the licensing of new plants by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, as well as uncertainties about cost recovery, as among leading reasons plans to build the plant had been put on hold.” This Duke announcement is consistent with other negative development news regarding nuclear power. The announcement also raises more concerns about the lack of new baseload electricity generation as the US EPA continues it war on coal and coal fired generation.
My take away for now is that there is a growing opportunity for wind and solar energy. The US needs new generation and reduced renewable system costs (and combined with incentives) coupled with increasing power prices is driving new demand for renewables. Natural gas fired generation will also grow but at some point all the new demand for natural gas will catch up with the new supply . . . that is when the US could once again see uncompetitive electric pricing.
What do you think?