No new coal-fired electric plants in Florida?

Earthjustice recently celebrated Seminole Electric Cooperative’s decision to withdraw its application to build a new coal-fired generating unit at its plant in Palatka, Florida. Earthjustice is a non-profit public interest law firm dedicated to protecting the magnificent places, natural resources, and wildlife of this earth, and to defending the right of all people to a healthy environment.

What this means for Florida is the need to move to cleaner energy generating technologies and fuels. Coal-to-energy technology has improved in recent years with coal gasification and would be further enhanced with CO2 sequestering.  Natural gas produces one-half the greenhouse gasses as coal using present technology.

The technologies for electricity production using green alternative energy sources such as bio-mass, solar and wind are rapidly getting better. The problem is that for now, the cost of production is higher than that of coal and natural gas. Existing electric companies are unwilling and sometimes unable to purchase electricity from alternative energy producers.

To help bring these sources of electricity online we either need to be willing to subsidize in the short time the cost of producing alternative energy or pay a premium price until the price comes down to at least a parity with fossil fuel energy production. Legislation is needed to encourage or maybe require companies with electric franchises to buy and sell more alternative energy and to allow alternative energy producers to sell directly to consumers.

One thing is clear from the Seminole Electric decision: the cost of producing electricity from coal will continue to go up. This can only be good for the production of alternative electricity.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen 


One Response to “No new coal-fired electric plants in Florida?”

  1. Good for alternative energy producers, very bad for consumers who are already hurting.

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