New York’s Indian Point Energy Center, a nuclear power plant 35 miles (57 kilometers) from central Times Square, closed its last reactor on Friday.
The closure of Indian Point has settled a dispute over the past decade to shut down factories. New York will lose the single largest source of carbon energy, which at least in the near term could lead to even more greenhouse gas emissions as states turn to natural gas as a replacement. Proponents argued that it was time for the old factory and local opposition to shut down. The shutdown will be a test case in states with strong climate policies about how quickly it switches to clean energy while shutting down nuclear power, now the largest source of clean energy. In the us
The Indian Point shutdown has been in existence for years, in 2017 the government of Andrew Cuomo announced that plant energy giant Entergy had reached an agreement with the state to shut down the plant. The first of the two operational reactors shut down in April last year. The second Friday was closed, marking the end of an era.
When fully operational, the facility has a capacity of 2,063 MW, making it the largest nuclear plant in the state. Energy serves the area and supplies a quarter of New York City’s electricity – and provides 1,000 jobs at its peak while topping local coffers. In comparing data from the New York Mayor’s Office and Crunch by the Urban Green Council. It shows that renewable energy is currently responsible for only 7% of the city’s juice, as most of them are currently not connected via transmission lines to renewable energy hotspots in other parts of the state.
Advocates pushing for the closure include the Natural Resources Defense Council and the river keeper. Has pointed to The dire safety record, the plant’s potential as a terrorist target and the risk of a disaster in Fukushima, affect the millions of people living in the metro area. There is one other issue for Indian Point, like any other reactor in the United States, that is economics. Nuclear energy is generally more expensive than renewable energy and natural gas.
“It’s almost the same as the Indy 500,” said Greg Jaczko, head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission under President Barack Obama and a speaker at Princeton. “You have three things that come to the finish line. You have renewable energy vehicles, you have natural gas vehicles, you have nuclear vehicles. They seem to be crossing the finish line at the same time, but in reality the nuclear car has been swept away. “
This is because state electricity and utilities have many years in preparation for the shutdown. The odds of being out of power are zero.Most of the energy to replace Indian Point’s lost megawatts will come from natural gas, at least in the near term.
“That is a very important part of the pies that are going away. The bad news is that our grids get more dirty before they get cleaner, ”said Urban Green Council CEO John Mandyck.
g 2018 analysis The group found that New York’s emissions linked to buildings, the city’s biggest source of emissions, are likely to increase next year due to the Indian Point shutdown and this year “at the risk of a reverse.” Big “before the release will drop again. Another level of closure at the end of this decade. Analysis The combination of pro-nuclear groups opposing plant shutdowns was found to be at the same risk, with the Indian Point shutdown causing more carbon dioxide emissions. Up to 4 million tonnes of “avoidable” (the total number doubles if you count the carbon dioxide equivalent to a methane-containing metric) suggests one risk of shutdown, although there are ways to mitigate that increase. The sections include energy efficiency enhancements through channels such as energy-efficient water heaters and furnaces, better windows, and the ban on new gas connections.
“Energy efficiency is always your first best friend because it is the most efficient and least expensive way to manage the grid. And for the people who can do it, you are investing in yourself, ”Mandyck said.
However, the state has a proactive plan to switch to 70% renewable energy by 2030, and there are numerous projects in operation to supply renewable energy over the next few years to offset Indian Point losses.Among them there are. A large offshore wind farm that, when online, will have Capacity 4,300 megawatts Or twice as much as Indian Point can create.The NIMBY fight in the Hamptons is Delay at least one projectBut two large projects are expected to commence by 2024.
Clean energy from outside the New York metro area, which is easier and cheaper to build, wind farms and solar farms, as real estate is not at Manhattan rates, may play a role in driving the most populous segments. The state’s Champlain Hudson Power Express is a 338-mile (544-kilometer) high-voltage transmission line that is essentially a highway for clean wind and hydroelectric power that comes from eastern Canada to the project city. Developers Said to provide 1,000 to 1,250 megawatts or enough of power to power 1 million households, and is expected to go live by 2025, these projects are attractive given their relatively lower costs than making Indian Point. Continue
That could help states meet climate targets, even if only a few years of extra emissions are still bad news. That’s because every ton of carbon dioxide is just as important as the methane linked to the burning natural gas.
Emily Grubert, an engineer studying energy systems at Georgia Tech, points to the shutdown of the California’s San Onofre and Florida’s Crystal River Power plants are rapidly emerging and Leave behind a rough legacy.How New York handled the Indian Point shutdown, although it could serve as a template for a way to terminate aging nuclear plants and not totally aggravate the climate.
“There are other plants in upstate New York State that receive subsidies to help them continue their operations,” Jaczko said. To compensate for economic challenges
“One way or another, our climate goals must be achieved by something other than nuclear,” he said.
While the world is fighting The role of nuclear energy Should or shouldn’t play to combat climate change, it will be an important one, Jaczko said when he was chief of the nuclear regulatory board, there were 104 licensed reactors in the United States. But now that is reduced to 94 and that will be further reduced as more plants are available to retire.
“I would like to see that we planned a shutdown and might shut down a little earlier than necessary with the intention of instead of thinking that the plant could continue to operate indefinitely and were pleasantly surprised by the sudden shutdown and the huge interruption.” Grubert said, “Can we use nuclear for 80 to 100 years? Maybe, but we’ll have to replace it eventually. And I should just follow the plan Hopefully we will be better and better in making sure we replace things with the cleanest and most pro-social alternatives possible. “