POLITICS

Solar mogul predicts end of new coal and natural gas plants

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke,Environment,Energy Department

SunEdison founder Jigar Shah predicts that, within 10 years, there will not be any new natural gas or coal plants built in the United States, to the advantage of green industries.

“In 10 years, 100 per cent of all new capacity additions to electricity globally will come from zero-emission sources,” Shah told The Globe and Mail. “We will not build any more bad stuff – it will be great stuff.”

The Environmental Protection Agency is finalizing a rule that will effectively ban the construction of new coal plants by saying that all new electricity sources emit no more carbon dioxide than a natural gas plant would. Coal plants can’t meet that standard without prohibitively expensive technological upgrades.

Will federal regulators take a similar approach to natural gas? Some environmentalists seem to hope so.

“The path forward is not to drain every single drop of oil, coal, and natural gas from the ground before we start to focus a clean energy future,” J. Mijin Cha wrote for the Huffington Post. “What we should be doing is substantially investing in renewable energy development and winding down fossil fuel extraction. What we should not be doing is actively working to split the climate movement by trying to force communities to choose between coal or natural gas. The path forward includes neither.”

 

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