Nuclear Energy

POV: Power Breakfast

Power Breakfast for September 8, 2016

Former EPA administrators praise nuclear energy's role in reducing carbon emissions; Energy storage deployment set to grow in 2016


POV: Power Breakfast

A nearly daily update of energy-related news:

  • Former EPA administrators, Christine Whitman and William Reilly, discussed nuclear energy’s role in achieving the country’s goal of reducing carbon emissions at the Stanford School of Public Policy. Part of their discussion included the economic and political factors of closing nuclear facilities and its impact on air quality and quality of life. Whitman praised nuclear energy’s role in reducing carbon emissions and stated that nuclear energy currently represents 63 percent of the country’s clean energy and about 19 percent of the overall energy produced.
  • According to the U.S. Energy Storage Monitor, there was a 126 percent increase in total energy storage deployed in Q2 over Q1 with 41.2 megawatts of energy storage deployed. Executive Director of the Energy Storage Association, Matt Roberts, believes that the energy storage industry is set to grow another 30 percent in 2016 helping to add flexibility and efficiency to the country’s power grid.
POV: Power Breakfast

Power Breakfast for September 1, 2016

Comparing power sources; Texas economy on the rise


POV: Power Breakfast

A nearly daily update of energy-related news:

  • The Motley Fool’s “What Would the United States Look Like Without Nuclear Energy?” examines what would happen to emissions in the U.S. if all nuclear power was replaced by coal, natural gas or other energy sources. The results found that when nuclear power was replaced with fossil fuels, emissions rose; if replaced with sources like wind or solar, the generation produced could not match that of nuclear energy. These comparisons help to highlight the importance and efficiency of nuclear energy in the power mix.
  • According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ the Texas leading index, the state’s economy could be on the upswing. This index, which looks at a variety of factors including the state’s employment growth and well permits, has shown recent signs of growth after holding steady earlier in the year.
POV: Power Breakfast

Power Breakfast for August 22, 2016

Nuclear reactors at a fraction of the size; Indian electricity demand growing


POV: Power Breakfast

A nearly daily update of energy-related news:

  • Still under development, small modular reactors (SMRs) are under consideration for use in the power industry. SMRs use nuclear technology that is scaled down and are able to produce approximately 10 percent of the electricity of traditional reactors. The “mini plants” are made of parts that are transportable on trucks and barges. Once at the site, they are assembled in around six to 12 months.
  • In India, NTPC Ltd., the country’s largest power producer saw a 4 percent increase in Q1 profit due to higher energy sales. NTPC’s plants produced 64.56 billion kWh of power, 10 percent more than a year ago. The country’s electricity demand also increased 8.1 percent within the three-month period. The company reported its earnings based on the newly introduced Indian Accounting Standards, which are in line with the International Financial Reporting Standards.
POV: Power Breakfast

Power Breakfast for August 15, 2016

Fifth Japanese nuclear reactor to resume operation; ERCOT's record week


POV: Power Breakfast

A nearly daily update of energy-related news:

  • In Japan, the Shikoku Electric Power Company announced that it is planning to restart unit 3 of its Ikata nuclear power plant. This marks the fifth Japanese reactor to resume operation and it will follow the new safety standards implemented following the Fukushima accident in 2011.
  • Throughout the week of August 8, ERCOT reached record levels of all-time peak systemwide demand a total of six times. The current all-time peak record is 71,197 MW set on Thursday, August 11 between 4-5 p.m. While much of Texas saw temperatures in the three digits last week, this week’s forecast should be milder with less power consumption expected; ERCOT expects sufficient generation available.

As Peak Demand Keeps Rising in ERCOT, Records Fall

Powering Texas through the hot summer season


Lamar Power Plant, Luminant’s Combined-Cycle Natural Gas Plant

Lamar Power Plant, Luminant’s Combined-Cycle Natural Gas Plant

With the August heat above 100 degrees and covering much of Texas this week, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas set another record for peak power demand on Thursday between 4-5 p.m. of 71,197 megawatts. The previous record of 71,043 megawatts had just been set one hour earlier (between 3-4 p.m.). The new peaks set on Thursday blew past 71,000 megawatts for the first time and beyond the records set on Wednesday and Monday of this week.

To give you an idea of how much generation that is, one megawatt can power 200 homes in periods of high demand.

On these hot days when demand is at its highest, where does all that power come from?

ERCOT manages the flow of electric power to 24 million Texas customers, representing 90 percent of the state’s electric load. Luminant is the largest power generator in ERCOT.

The ERCOT grid relies on a diverse mix of energy sources that when all pulling together provide the power for this growing state. Here’s a breakout from ERCOT of which energy sources provided the power when Texans needed it most when Monday’s record was set:

  • 57% natural gas (includes combined cycle as well as traditional steam and combustion turbines)
  • 27% coal
  • 8% wind
  • 7% nuclear
  • 1% other (hydro, renewables, diesel)
    Note: Percentages are rounded
Forney Power Plant – Luminant’s Combined-Cycle Natural Gas Plant

Forney Power Plant – Luminant’s Combined-Cycle Natural Gas Plant

These numbers also underscore the importance of dependable power generation from natural gas, coal and nuclear energy.

Over the record peak hour on Monday, Luminant’s coal and gas plants and Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant helped supply nearly 15,000 megawatts to the grid.

“We strive for operational excellence, and on days like we’ve had this week, we’re reminded why it’s so important to work as a team to maintain safe and reliable operations,” said Steve Horn, Luminant chief fossil officer. “Our employees deserve immense credit for safely working in these extreme temperatures to help their fellow Texans stay safe and cool.”

With more hot days ahead, Luminant’s people, plants and mines are doing their part for safely powering Texas.

POV: Power Breakfast

Power Breakfast for August 3, 2016

Two state's decisions on nuclear energy; Advice to utilities on electric vehicles


POV: Power Breakfast

A nearly daily update of energy-related news:

  • The Washington Post takes a look at how California and New York are approaching whether or not to include nuclear power in their respective energy mix. This follows New York’s decision to approve a Clean Energy Standard that (among other items) retains the state’s six nuclear reactors which currently provide 30 percent of the state’s electricity. The article contrasts this to that of California’s decision to eliminate nuclear from the state’s portfolio.
  • By 2040, electric vehicles will account for 35 percent of new car sales around the world. Energy Central offers five insights that could assist the utility market as it prepares for this consumer shift including: consider offering incentives to consumers in this space to drive adoption; prepare for demand response and variable rate structure changes; consider partnerships with car manufacturers; adjust utility infrastructure to support EVs on the road; and offer real-time information on electricity prices to inform the consumer.
POV: Power Breakfast

Power Breakfast for August 1, 2016

Nuclear power plant approved for the southwest of England; Positive job growth in Dallas


POV: Power Breakfast

A nearly daily update of energy-related news:

  • EDF’s board, a utility based out of France, has approved a plan to build a nuclear power plant in the southwest of England. The plant will generate enough electricity to power six million homes, approximately 7 percent of Britain’s energy needs. However, the project has not yet been finalized in the U.K. with Prime Minister Theresa May stating that government will continue to look into the project and make a final decision this fall.
  • According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Texas employment grew at a 1.1 percent annualized rate in June. San Antonio and Dallas were the two major Texas cities to show positive job growth through June 2016 at 2.1 percent and 0.3 percent annualized gains respectively.
POV: Power Breakfast

Power Breakfast for June 29, 2016

Dallas Fed Energy Survey results released; Nuclear energy needed to meet carbon-free energy goals


POV: Power Breakfast

A nearly daily update of energy-related news:

  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas released the results of the “Dallas Fed Energy Survey” with more than half of the respondents expecting higher natural gas prices in a year and more than 70 percent of participants expecting higher oil prices. Dallas Fed Senior Research economist sees a “stabilization” in business conditions based on the survey’s results.
  • Weighing in on recent nuclear energy news, The Motley Fool provides a breakdown on how nuclear closings will affect our ability to reach carbon-free energy goals by 2100. The analysis suggests that if we are serious in reaching these goals, nuclear energy needs to be a part of the energy mix as it is key in achieving the 90 percent of carbon-free energy needed by the end of the century. Of the 14 percent of energy (as of 2014) from carbon-free sources, nuclear energy provides the largest percentage at 5 percent.