Construction of what would be one of Ohio’s largest natural gas-fired power plants has started in the heart of the Utica Shale, despite nuclear power subsidies set to take effect next year that have derailed other projects.
Articles from Subsidies
The Ohio Senate has passed a bill to prop up two nuclear power plants in the state operated by bankrupt subsidiaries of FirstEnergy Corp.
Yet another state will support nuclear power plants with subsidies as New Jersey regulators last week officially approved a zero emissions credit (ZEC) program that both gas-fired generators and environmental groups had fought.
Trade associations representing the oil and gas industry are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to find that state subsidies used to prop up uneconomic nuclear power plants are unfair because they interfere with FERC’s exclusive authority over wholesale rates in the energy market.
Pennsylvania lawmakers are circulating memos in both the state House and Senate seeking sponsors for legislation that would better support the state’s five nuclear power plants as the facilities continue to face stiff competition from other generation sources such as natural gas.
The Electric Power Suppliers Association (EPSA), which overwhelmingly represents independent natural gas-fired electricity generators across the country, has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its challenge against subsidies for nuclear power plants in New York and Illinois.
Now that four courts in Illinois and New York have upheld subsidies for nuclear power plants, representatives of the natural gas interests battling them are looking to FERC for a prescription to counter the state programs and their effects on wholesale electricity markets.
PJM Interconnection on Monday filed a nearly 500-page document with FERC seeking guidance on how competitive wholesale electricity markets should address state subsidies for faltering coal and nuclear power plants, and it put forth proposals to achieve the tricky balance as more legislatures in its service territory consider bailouts for the resources.
Subsidies included in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) recent notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) would cost as much as $10.6 billion a year, with the vast majority of the money going to a handful of coal and nuclear companies, according to a cost analysis by Climate Policy Initiative and Energy Innovation.
The latest estimates from several sources indicate that fossil fuel subsidies globally are growing, ranging from $523 billion to more than $1.9 trillion, according to a Worldwatch Institute research fellow. Subsidy levels have rebounded back to 2008 levels, according to Philipp Tagwerker.