Monday, June 27, 2016

USA, California: Nuclear Plant Closing Because of State Renewable Energy Policy

PG&E official: Renewable energy policy driving Diablo Canyon closure (The Tribune)

A new state law requiring half the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030 was the key motivation in PG&E’s decision not to seek license renewal for Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, PG&E’s Chief Nuclear Officer Ed Halpin told The Tribune on Thursday.

“Over the past two years, the market has changed and the regulatory landscape has changed,” he said. “The plant’s power is just not needed.”

Earlier this week, PG&E announced that it will not seek license renewal with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for the plant’s two nuclear reactors. The current operating licenses expire in 2024 and 2025.

The state’s energy goals to have 50 percent renewable power and a doubling of energy efficiency savings by 2030 as required by 2015’s Senate Bill 350 were the leading factors in PG&E’s decision, Halpin said. California regulators do not consider nuclear power to be renewable and are required to purchase renewable energy before they can purchase non-renewable power, Halpin said.

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