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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:38 PM
Original message
... what is Southern Co. going to do about it?
http://atlanta.creativeloafing.com/gyrobase/Content?oid...

For half a century, the energy giant has powered four Southeastern states largely by burning coal. Meanwhile, challenge after environmental challenge has been tossed at Southern's coal plants. First, there was acid rain. Then, smog in metro Atlanta. Then, toxins, soot and, finally, mercury.

Sometimes, sticking with coal has required Southern to spend tens of millions of dollars on pollution controls, process improvements and capacity upgrades. Overall, the company says it's spent $6 billion on reducing pollutants.

Other times, Southern tapped into its deep political connections -- born from some of corporate America's heaviest campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures -- to convince Congress or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or the White House to ease up on the regulations.

Through it all, the company has chosen to stay with its favored fossil. And why not? Coal's cheap and plentiful. The infrastructure for burning it is already there. And other options are either expensive or technically challenging -- or both.

<more>
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MemphisTiger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. What do you propose the replace coal to generate electricity
with? It has to come from somewhere. Wind only produces so much and nuclear is not an option in this political climate.
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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Conservation, biomass, PV and solar hot water
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 03:46 PM by jpak
The southeastern US doesn't have the wind resources that other parts of the country enjoy (with the exception of off-shore and the southern Appalachians) and all their hydroelectric resources have been developed.

The Southeast does have a lot of forest and agricultural land that could produce biofuels for base load power plants.

And a lot of livestock operations that could produce biogas for intermediate loads.

...and a lot of potential for PV to satisfy summer AC loads and winter diurnal electrical demand.

After living the South for several decades, I can say this with some authority. Southern homes (and businesses) are some of the most energy inefficient in the country. Some of the places I lived in had no insulation whatsoever. The ones that did had the bare minimum to satisfy (unsatisfactory) building codes.

Realistic building codes and tax incentives that would allow homeowners to insulate their homes and use energy efficient AC units would go a long way to reducing electrical demand in Dixie.

How much would all this reduce coal consumption???

Good question - (but a lot IMHO)

On edit: forgot about solar hot water (domestic and low-med temperature industrial applications). Southern homes could supply ~100% of their hot water needs year round. Concentrating solar hot water systems could supply a lot of hot H20 to industrial facilities that require low to mid (~50-70 degree C) thermal energy...




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MemphisTiger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. I agree that southern homes are some of the most inefficient in
the nation. I too live in the south, mid south really but close enough. Bio-gas is a promising option but it is still in it's infancy and solar has been tried and killed every time due to it's high cost per output. Conservation is key but with the recent heat waves it's hard to turn the AC off, it was 100 degree here yesterday. Don't get me wrong I want emissions lowered and conservation like you but I think I'm a bit more pessimistic.
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RufusEarl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 03:03 PM
Response to Original message
2. This caught my eye !
"The unhurried approach to alternative energy shouldn't be surprising. It reflects Southern's skepticism on the urgency of global warming".

That's the problem with deregulation, and one of many problems with this admin. We need to be able to push these companies to move forward on renewable, and nuclear is not a renewable imho.
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