Carbon Cuts Will Spark “Boom” in Industrial Midwest

October 13, 2014

If you read the article above, you’ll get the irony of this item from the Detroit Free Press.

Detroit Free Press:

Efforts to battle global warming and climate change by limiting carbon dioxide emissions are likely to produce a massive building boom at Michigan power plants in years to come, potentially creating thousands of jobs.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is refining its proposed clean air regulations that would require states to dramatically lower output of greenhouse gases over the next 15 years. For Michigan, the targeted reduction is 31% over 2012 levels.

Gerard Anderson, CEO of DTE Energy, estimated the emissions regulation will lead to the retirement of half or more of the coal-fired generation in Michigan. That capacity will be replaced with natural gas and wind power, both requiring big new investment in facilities. For the state as a whole across several power companies, including DTE, Anderson estimated $15 billion would be spent on new facilities.

“I would say that the electric sector is headed for the biggest transformation it’s seen in 40 years, starting soon,” Anderson told the Free Press. “This is the most important and most sweeping environmental regulation ever issued in our sector by a pretty wide margin, and perhaps the most important environmental regulation ever issued.”

The rebuilding of Michigan’s power generating capacity could become the most visible part of the state’s energy economy in the next 10 to 20 years. Industry experts agree that growing the cluster of industries that comprise the energy sector depends on a mix of public policy, entrepreneurial energy and general economic direction.

The article includes this graphic – which goes a long way toward explaining where the real jobs and benefits are for the middle class.

3 Responses to “Carbon Cuts Will Spark “Boom” in Industrial Midwest”

  1. MorinMoss Says:

    Anyone in the loop regarding Lockheed-Martin’s announcement about a nuclear fusion breakthrough??

    This is not a company known for spurious announcements so I’m willing to give this significantly more credence than I would the Rossi eCat.

    Apparently a 100MW test machine could be ready NEXT YEAR??
    After so many disappointments over so many years, I don’t know what to think.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Move over Solar Wind Energy Tower and Solar Roadway. Lockheed-Martin is either looking to run up its stock with a publicity grab or latch onto some government grant money with this “breakthrough”. Fusion research has been going on since the 1950’s and has seen many bright ideas but few lasting “breakthroughs”. I myself was impressed by what I saw in the 60’s on a visit to the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, home of the Stellarator and various Tokamaks—-both of which provided much knowledge but didn’t come close to “breakthrough”. Dozens of labs in many countries have been working on various fusion technologies for years, and we are not yet close to success. Fusion is a way more difficult process to harness than fission.

      “Apparently a 100MW test machine could be ready NEXT YEAR??”

      Reread the article. They are talking about five year-long generations of design-test-build, followed by 5 years to build a prototype IF the first five years shows them how. That’s TEN years, and since it’s likely that they will have slippage in that schedule, it will be more like 15 years until we see much (during which time CO2 will approach 440PPM).

      I’m no plasma physicist, so I won’t say “never”, but don’t hold your breath waiting. Considering that fusion could go a long way toward solving our carbon addiction and saving us from ourselves, I think it would be great if it happened, but you need to ask why it hasn’t happened yet.

      • MorinMoss Says:

        My original read was from the Reuters feed which said that a protoype “could” be ready within a year. Some other references were claiming by 2017.

        But all reports of any hope for a commercial-ready device was 10 years out.
        Cue the standard jokes about the “fuel of the future”.

        Even if it does takes until 2030, that’s still fantastic so long as it’s not ridiculously expensive, doesn’t rely on unobtainium and is even moderately efficient.

        No existing plan has a solid hope of getting us to 80% reduction on a global scale by 2050.

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