NewEnergyNews: Slow Transition To New Energy Threatens Music City

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    Wednesday, October 21, 2020

    Slow Transition To New Energy Threatens Music City

    The TVA’s slower pace toward renewable energy weakens Nashville’s future, report finds; The report suggests Nashville and communities in seven southeast states could suffer economically if the TVA doesn’t speed up its energy transition

    James Bruggers, October 7, 2020 (Inside Climate News)

    A growing number of electric utilities in the United States have made pledges to reach "net-zero" carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. But not the Tennessee Valley Authority, the nation's largest public utility…[And, according to a new report, TVA's energy policies could make Nashville, also called Music City,] less attractive as a venue for businesses that are decarbonizing their operations… throughout the TVA's seven-state service area…As a monopoly, TVA is insulated from competitive market pressures. But it is also subject to pressure from the federal government…[B]efore the TVA board voted in 2019 to close two antiquated coal-fired power plants in Kentucky and Tennessee, it heard complaints from President Donald Trump, Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and Gov. Matt Bevin, R-Kentucky…

    ...[L]arger cities within TVA's territory have been asking for more renewable energy…[and] have pledged to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement…Memphis has been studying whether to leave the TVA, and whether renewable energy could help lower electricity rates…[Nashville, Knoxville, and Memphis were recently ranked in the bottom half] among 100 major American cities in efforts to make buildings and transportation more energy efficient and to scale up the use of renewable energy…[TVA officials say nuclear and hydroelectric power will increase carbon-free electricity from 56 percent this year to 70 percent] by 2030…[but if] TVA's plans are projected to 2050, its percentage of total renewable energy capacity would be, on average, 40 percent less by 2050 than the utilities in [comparable] cities…The report recommends, among other things, that Nashville work with the TVA to set a 2050 carbon reduction goal that achieves at least 80 percent—and preferably, 100 percent—reduction in emissions…[and] increase renewable energy generation…” click here for more

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