John W. Rowe, Chairman and CEO Exelon recently gave “My Last Nuclear Speech” to the American Nuclear Society Utility Working Conference. John’s speech offers a view into the current reality of US utility decision-making. Exelon’a latest planning for 2020 looks very different from the 2008 version of their plans.
This is 2010, our most recent curve. (See Slide 3 below.) The change from our 2008 curve to this one is dramatic.
Retiring inefficient coal plants (purple) has become the cheapest option.
Most energy efficiency and nuclear uprates remain attractive. But other options begin to get very pricey.
• Wind (orange) requires a carbon price between $80-$120 per tonne.
• New nuclear – $100 per tonne to break even.
• Solar cost is down, but is still $450 per tonne and still off the chart.
• A proposed clean coal project without carbon capture and sequestration in Illinois requires $500/tonne to be economic.
• Federal subsidies and other mandates shift a portion of the costs from electric ratepayers to taxpayers or shareholders, but do not change the overall economics.