Thursday, July 21, 2016

Nuclear Subsidies Are Key Part of New York’s Clean-Energy Plan - The New York Times

The Indian Point nuclear plant in Buchanan, N.Y., which Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo considers dangerous and wants to close, is excluded from the subsidies in the clean-energy proposal. (Credit: Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times) Click to Enlarge.
The blueprint for New York State’s lofty clean-energy goals relies on the technologies of the future:  the state, officials have promised, will draw half of its electricity from renewable and clean energy sources like wind and solar power by 2030.

But as the plan takes shape at the state’s Public Service Commission, talk of still-young technologies has been overshadowed by something of a throwback:  the state’s aging nuclear power plants.

The commission is considering a proposal that makes the state’s three upstate nuclear plants important parts of its efforts to wean itself off fossil fuels, offering nearly $1 billion in ratepayer-financed subsidies over the next two years to save plants battered by rising costs and competition from cheap natural gas.

The subsidy is likely to grow into the multibillion-dollar range over the 12-year period proposed by the state, a sum that has caused watchdogs to question whether the state is about to approve a major industry bailout with minimal public scrutiny — even though it is the public’s utility bills that will grow.

Approval of the subsidies would make New York one of the first states to reward nuclear plants for what advocates of curtailing greenhouse gas emissions consider their chief advantage: they produce zero emissions.

Read more at Nuclear Subsidies Are Key Part of New York’s Clean-Energy Plan

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