Energy: Not Expanding Equals Pulling the Plug

By January 22, 2008Energy

We mentioned South Africa’s energy problems yesterday, which we first heard about on a Marketplace Morning report. Bottom line:

[South] Africa’s own demand now exceeds supply. One reason is many rural communities here have recently been electrified for the first time. But the country’s capacity to generate power hasn’t kept up.

South Africa’s supermarkets are throwing out food that require refrigeration, retailers are closing their doors, and restaurants are turning people away.

Meanwhile, in today’s Financial Times, “Fears raise doubts over US power supply.”

Concern is growing that the US could face electricity capacity shortages as utility companies delay much-needed new power plants, fearing restrictive carbon emissions laws under the next administration.

Without additional capacity, some areas are projected to fall below their target capacity margins within two or three years.

And The Associated Press:

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — In federal and state courtrooms across the country, environmental groups are putting coal-fueled power plants on trial in a bid to slow the industry’s biggest construction boom in decades.

At least four dozen coal plants are being contested in 29 states, according to an Associated Press tally. The targeted utilities include giants such as Peabody Energy and American Electric Power as well as small rural cooperatives.

From lawsuits and administrative appeals against the companies, to lobbying pressure on federal and state regulators, the coordinated offensive against coal is emerging as a pivotal front in the debate over global warming.

Make your dinner reservations soon.

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