Author Archives: Sonal Patel

Trump EPA Scraps CCS as BSER for New Coal Units

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has significantly relaxed requirements needed to build new coal-fired power units in the U.S.  The revisions proposed on December 6 for performance standards governing carbon dioxide emissions from new, reconstructed, and modified coal power units respond to the Trump Administration’s Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth, which […]

Amid Broad Legal Challenges, EPA Proposes Narrower Definition of WOTUS

In a move widely applauded by the power industry, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of the Army proposed a new definition of “waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) that could exempt groundwater and ditches from regulation under the Clean Water Act (CWA).  The measures follow other recent significant regulatory actions by the agency. On […]

Dominican Republican to Get Floating Combined Cycle Gas Plant Outfitted with Battery Storage

A novel floating power plant that combines a 145-MW gas-fired combined cycle power plant and a battery energy storage system could begin operating in the Dominican Republic by early 2021.  Siemens and the marine arm of Singapore-based ST Engineering on December 3 said they jointly received an order for a SeaFloat barge-mounted power plant from […]

Plagued by Grim Challenges, Vogtle Nuclear Expansion Lags Behind Schedule, Says Oversight Consultant

The two-unit Vogtle expansion in Georgia faces major challenges that are poised to derail its schedule and ramp up costs—and the project is already behind schedule, a consulting firm tasked with construction oversight of the project told regulators. In revealing testimony filed with the Georgia Public Service Commission’s (PSC’s) public interest advocacy staff on November […]

Industry Groups to Congress: Inaction on Nuclear Waste Not an Option

Fifteen notable industry groups have urged Congressional leaders to act on the federal used nuclear fuel program, noting no progress on the Yucca Mountain repository license application and consolidated interim storage is “untenable.” The broad coalition of labor unions, state public service commissioners, clean energy organizations, and energy trade associations told U.S. House and Senate […]

In Energy Policy Pivot, France Will Shutter 14 Nuclear Reactors

France will shut down 14 of its 58 nuclear reactors by 2035 as well its remaining four coal power plants by 2022, French President Emmanuel Macron said November 27 in a lengthy speech that sought to clarify the country’s future energy direction. According to the World Nuclear Association, France’s nuclear power share has steadily expanded […]

Eight Power Sector Takeaways from the Climate Report

Despite increased resilience actions, extreme weather events due to climate change are projected to increasingly threaten the nation’s energy infrastructure, and create fuel availability and demand imbalances, the Trump administration’s sprawling climate report released on November 23 suggests.  The Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) released by the Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is clear in […]

Strikes, Outages, Slash French Output by 2.2 GW

A series of strikes at French nuclear plants owned by power giant EDF have caused fluctuating electricity supplies, prompting concerns as the country prepares for a prolonged cold snap. Workers are reportedly protesting wage negotiations and a possible plan by the French government to restructure EDF. The energy branch of French trade union CGT on […]

Could High-Efficiency, Low-Emissions (HELE) Technology Revive U.S. Coal Power?

A newly introduced Senate bill aims to make federal loan guarantees available for new high-efficiency, low-emissions (HELE) coal power plants in the U.S. Although it spearheads considerable research and development initiatives to advance coal technology, the nation’s pipeline of coal builds remains virtually vacant, and it now lags painfully behind Asia and Europe in demonstration […]

DOE Considers Subsidies Modeled on Renewables for Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

State-imposed standards and financial incentives such as those used to spur widespread adoption of renewables technologies offer a promising model to address challenges to commercialize small modular reactors (SMRs), says a report by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Nuclear Energy. But to make a meaningful impact, nearly $10 billion in incentives will […]