Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Let the Blackouts Begin

Looks like self inflicted power black outs in the most industrialised country in the world, the USA, are not far off for some communities. Interestingly not much thought seems to have been given by our noble overlords that in business increased risk means greater returns are required, thus more costs for consumers and greater lead times on capital investment. In fact capital investment may need to be forgone entirely if the economic environment is uncertain.

Now that might be an inconvenience if it is a factory not being built but when it is a power plant that will not be upgraded then everything just stops. No power for lighting, cooking, hospitals, water pumps, fuel pumps, you name it. A district with unreliable power supplies will also be unable to attract industry which will instead locate to an area where supply is reliable thus leading to the economic as well as social impoverishment of the affected district.

Welcome to the 15 Missouri communities served by Sho-Me Power forced to look for new power supply. Marshfield-based Sho-Me Power sent notices to the 15 communities in December saying it can no longer sell them electricity after Christmas of 2013 on a long-term basis.

"Getting electricity to our co-ops is our priority; that's who owns us," said Jerry Hartman, manager of administrative services for Sho-Me Power.

Associated Electric, which sells power wholesale to Sho-Me Power, is scaling back on selling electricity to municipal utilities because of an uncertain future in generating additional energy, said spokeswoman Nancy Southworth.
Proposals in Congress to rein in carbon dioxide emissions believed to be contributing to man-made global climate change have brought any plans to build or invest in new coal-burning power plants to a halt.

"Looking 20 years out, it gets very difficult to do that in today's environment," Hartman said. "It's an uncertain future on coal and it takes a few years to build (a plant)."

Read all about it here on News-Leader.com.

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