Innovation Drives Radical Change in Utility Sector
For U.S. utilities, the present is becoming the future. In Illinois, electric power companies are shutting down coal and nuclear facilities that account for more than 10 percent of that state’s power-generating capacity. The drivers are cheap wind power and low-cost natural gas burning plants, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. In the Midwest, the average annual wholesale electricity price has fallen 43 percent since 2008, according to Bloomberg data. In the past four years, the share of wind power added to the mid-country grid has risen from 2 percent to 12 percent, reports energy research firm Genscape. With ongoing cheap natural gas prices and more wind power to come online, the paradigm shift to renewables and other, less polluting sources looks to continue.
John Howell, Editorial Director
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