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E&E News: Is Biden's 100% Clean Energy Electricity Plan Doable?

Posted by Peter Behr, Edward Klump and Lesley Clark on Jul 15, 2020

E&E News covered 2020 presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's proposed $2 trillion infrastructure and clean energy plan, quoting AEE's CEO Nat Kreamer. Read excerpts below and the entire E&E News piece here (sub. req.). 

Joe Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure and clean energy plan announced yesterday may have caught the crest of fast-moving trends that are already carrying the U.S. electric power grid toward a zero-carbon future. Or, rather than leading that charge, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee may be pushing the industry toward a summit that still is forbiddingly high. Both possibilities are apparent in what's happening in the U.S. electric power sector today...

Biden's goal is to eliminate carbon emissions by 2035 from the nation's natural gas and coal power plants, which currently provide nearly two-thirds of U.S. electricity (Greenwire, July 14). To get there, wind, solar, hydropower, nuclear power, battery storage, carbon capture technology and energy efficiency programs would have to fill the gap...

Nat Kreamer, chief executive of Advanced Energy Economy, an association of clean energy companies, said the costs of new wind and solar installations have dropped so low that utilities can supply their customers more cheaply with new renewable installations than they can by taking power from existing natural gas generation.

"There is going to be a shift," Kreamer said. Electric utilities "aren't going to fossil fuels, they are going to go to renewables. ... They will go to promote clean, flexible energy assets." Kreamer cited actions by Northern Indiana Public Service Co., the state's second largest electric distribution company, which has turned its back on Indiana's long history of coal-fired power plants to switch to renewables.

The Merrillville, Ind.-based utility, serving the top part of the state, says it will retire all of its remaining coal-fired electric generation by 2028, replacing it with lower-cost clean energy alternatives that it says can save customers more than $4 billion over 30 years...

Read the entire E&E News piece here (sub. req.). 

Topics: AEE In The News