Tuesday, February 12, 2013

FPL Bloats Its Green Credentials. By Gimleteye

The following letter recently published in the Miami Herald tracks points we have often made on this blog. FPL is a corporation that boasts its green credentials -- and it is true -- has invested around the nation in hundreds of millions of so-called sustainable energy solutions, but has actively opposed and shown no leadership toward drastic reduction of fossil fuel emissions through reforming its business models. simply put, FPL executives and board are welded to the notion that greater energy production leads to greater profits, while knowing full well it is leading the charge to the abyss.

To defend its current profit model is akin to bravely going down with the ship. Too bad President Obama is incurious about the details.

Will our politics ever have the strength to reform the nation's utilities? Apparently not. That leaves sound critics no choice but to condemn the utilities in the strongest terms.

Instead of new nuclear that will certainly run into rising sea levels, (not to mention FPL is violating permitting conditions of its existing reactors and causing the destruction of the aquifer beneath south Dade) state legislators should force changes to the utilities business model, focusing on reward for conservation, reforming the grid, and improving consumer access to the grid.

The spin that FPL passes for corporate responsibility is unconscionable. We are trying ...

Mayor Cindy Lerner & George Cavros

Diversify our energy mix

The Feb. 2 letter, Nuclear energy can lead to economic opportunities, extolling the virtues of employment at the Turkey Point nuclear reactor misses the mark on nuclear reactor economics. The piece failed to mention that the FPL reactors are prohibitively expensive to construct — with an estimated price tag of about $20 billion. A Florida law allows FPL to push all the cost and risk of constructing the plant on to you and me — the customer. Even if the plant never gets built, FPL is allowed to protect its shareholders by recovering all of its construction costs from customers. During the nuclear building boom of the ‘70s, many reactor projects were abandoned due to soaring costs and a drop in electricity demand. If FPL abandons its project, that could leave customers on the financial hook.

Instead of chasing speculative reactor projects, FPL should prioritize meeting demand through energy efficiency programs that costs less than new generation. It’s a low-cost, low-risk option that benefits everyone because efficiency is what keeps costs down. Energy efficiency can meet electricity demand at a fraction of the cost of building new power plants.

Yet, FPL’s performance in helping customers reduce energy use and save money on their bills pales in comparison to the energy savings achieved by leading utilities in other states.

The real economic benefit from the energy sector comes from diversifying our energy mix into clean resources such as energy efficiency and renewable energy development.

State lawmakers could help customers and the workforce by adopting policies that encourage clean energy development — instead of costly, speculative reactor projects.

Cindy Lerner, mayor, Pinecrest
George Cavros, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Fort Lauderdale


100panthers said...

Why has WLRN given FPL two shows so far with FPL employees repeating how they are 'stewards of the environment'...how solar does not work in Florida due to water vapor in air, and other blatant lies with no one on show to contradict the lies? My favorite was the claim that Turkey Point did great during Hurricane Andrew without mention of the mere 5ft. storm surge at Turkey Point but the 16ft. storm surge 6 miles away that would have swamped the reactors, since at that time they were built for a 15ft storm surge.

After a caller called in and complained about WLRN bias for FPL, hosts mumbled and then later said 'producers tell us we have a counterpoint coming in subsequent show', which was unknown to Berman and Cooper while giving FPL their infomercial! Wonder when the decision for the counterpoint and its duration was made? The coming counterpoint is a short quick 20 minute telephone interview (before editing) of Dr. Phil Stoddard.

I had fears when FPL started its heavy advertising on WLRN months before. Causation or merely correlation? Bias or merely sloppy journalism?

FPL is a lobbying firm with an energy generation business on the side.

FPL infomercial found here.

Anonymous said...

The thing no one talks about is energy and power density in fuel sources. Petroleum and nuclear fuels are energy and power density rich, allowing for huge generation from very small real estate footprints. Solar and wind become prohibitive just based on power output per unit land required to generate power on a commercial scale. On too of that, wind capacity factors average around 30%. That is not acceptable in terms of commercial generation. It requires equivalent alternative capacity to be built, staffed, and ready to run when the wind stops blowing. It's nuclear and natural gas for the foreseeable future. Like it or not.

100Panthers said...

Energy density is a useless metric in this context. It is only relevant when fuel needs to be transported, as in a car, plane or boat. Note how you omitted coal, a not so dense energy source that runs more power plants than nuclear or natural gas.