A Free-Market Energy Blog

Archive

Posts from December 0

Waste-to-Energy: Air Pollution Renewable in Decline

By Kennedy Maize -- June 26, 2019

“Waste-to-energy had a 15-year heyday, driven in part by the 1978 Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA). The law essentially created the non-utility generating industry.”

“Many local governments had long incinerated garbage to reduce volumes flowing to landfills, but that provoked public opposition due to air pollution. With PURPA, developers began seeing a way to incinerate garbage in a technologically and environmentally sound fashion, generate electricity, and use the new law to force electric utilities to, reluctantly, buy the output.”

Waste-to-energy (WTE) plants turn the combustible content of waste to energy, capturing and recycling metals and other noncombustible waste. The biomass (“biogenic”) component—aka garbage—is made up of paper, cardboard, food waste, grass clippings, leaves, wood, and leather. Non-biogenic waste is composed of plastics, metals, and petroleum-based materials.

According to the the U.S.…

Nuclear’s Latest: Project, Company, Consumer Troubles

By Kennedy Maize -- February 20, 2017

“Toshiba’s nuclear business has been hemorrhaging money at its U.S. construction projects in Georgia and South Carolina…. The four units are in states with regulated markets and provisions for nuclear projects to receive a return on their capital investments during construction, through consumer electric rate increases.”

The social value of nuclear power may provoke wide debate. But as a business proposition, in countries with market-based economies, nuclear is failing. New construction is particularly disappointing: a new generation of technology widely expected to get costs and construction times down simply has not done so.

Problems at Toshiba

The latest evidence comes Toshiba, a giant Japanese conglomerate and parent of the U.S. nuclear reactor designer and vendor, Westinghouse Electric. Westinghouse’s ruinous investment in nuclear construction behemoth CB&I Stone & Webster has crippled Toshiba’s finances.…