Obama Isn’t Killing Power Plants. The Sun Is.
President Barack Obama released this week his much-anticipated regulations for controlling carbon emissions. Opponents are claiming the new rules are so onerous they will imperil the electric utility industry.
Actually, it’s a little too late for that; solar power got there first.
The U.S. has barely begun to deploy solar panels for electricity. Even California gets only 1.3 percent of its electrons from the sun. Yet that modest start has upended the fundamental driver of utility profits — the demand curve.
A note by Bernstein Associates said that among utility executives who spoke at a recent industry conference, “the issue of whether solar is going to ramp in the U.S. was not raised. Instead, the discussion from utilities themselves went directly to the issue of how to reach an accommodation with this rapidly expanding and disruptive technology.” . . .