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Proposal: Replace SONGS's Nuclear Energy with Renewables

The Public Utilities Commission could vote on the plan as early as next month.

Now that SONGS is shut down, one proposal suggests using renewable sources to replace the energy it once produced. Photo courtesy of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.
Now that SONGS is shut down, one proposal suggests using renewable sources to replace the energy it once produced. Photo courtesy of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

Much if not all of the electric power once provided by the San Onofre nuclear power plant could be replaced with energy from non-fossil-fuel sources, according to a proposal being considered by the California Public Utilities Commission.

The procurement plan written by an administrative law judge is expected to be debated and possibly voted upon next month by the five-member commission, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Two principal partners in the shuttered plant -- Southern California Edison Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. -- would be required to procure at least 600 megawatts of power from so-called preferred resources, which include wind and solar power, energy efficiency programs, electricity storage systems and locally generation from roof-top panels, according to The Times.

However, the proposed decision also leaves the door open for utilities to purchase power from natural-gas-fired power plants if needed to provide reliability to the grid when renewables aren't enough, the newspaper reported.

Edison permanently closed San Onofre in June 2012 after concluding that it would be economically unfeasible to fix defective steam generators that had leaked small amounts of radioactivity.

--City News Service

irsh February 13, 2014 at 01:18 PM
Interesting idea. But how costly would that be?? Would they be able to reuse the existing infrastructure? As a san clemente resident, I would love to see more investment coming into san clemente !!
John Webb February 13, 2014 at 04:24 PM
Everything you need to know about this proposal can be summed up by "witten by an administrative law judge," and "required." If there is anything we learn from the disaster that is the Affordable Care Act, it is that government and regulations are the worst possible way to achieve anything. An administrative law judge is going to demand the public spend their money on technoligies are not available, and is going to put the full power of the goernment behind demanding we waste money. What could possibly go wrong?
Scott A February 14, 2014 at 12:29 AM
Renewables are absolutely the way to go. Other countries in the world (including China and Germany) are far ahead of United States in renewable technology development. Local power generation on residences and businesses (such as rooftop solar and wind) can be immensely successful (if Germany can be so successful with solar, and they live in a cloudy northern climate then solar would obviously work well here). The economic problem (market failure) is renewable technologies have never been able to develop in the marketplace due in large part to an effective U.S. utility company lobby which has blocked the sale of excess generated electricity back to utilities. This scheme called "net zero" ensures the best you can do is zero out your energy bill. That amounts to a great way to stymie the competition of renewables that threaten fossil fuel control of our economy.
Rocky Neidhardt February 14, 2014 at 04:28 AM
No more Nukes! Wind or Solar and even Wave are the only viable options
Jack Taylor February 14, 2014 at 12:05 PM
Interesting that you would call out China and Germany as being leaders in renewable technology. China is the largest polluter in the world via coal plants, and Germany is building coal plants by the fistful to back up their renewable power. Renewable power is fine - as long as you have an equivalent amount of back up power available for when the renewable power is not available. Hopefully we won't have to use coal, as power-up time is so slow that they have to run continuously - thus negating the contribution of renewable power. NG power plants aren't that bad. They can be powered up relatively quickly.
Nancy February 14, 2014 at 01:40 PM
Jack are you suggesting that China's growth in solar is causing more pollution with coal? That's a silly supposition. The reason for China's pollution problems is because of its huge increase in industry and a population becoming able to afford more goods. Solar does (and will continue at greater rates) minimize the effects of non-renewable power sources.
Scott A February 14, 2014 at 10:32 PM
Rooftop solar can supply everyone in the region with plenty of energy to offset peak daytime demand, and a significant portion of non-renewable fossil fuels we consume now. Agruments to the contrary are either from those who are financially vested in the status quo or just plain ignorant. http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2013/jul/03/citylights1-utilities-battle-rooftop-solar/
John Webb February 17, 2014 at 07:03 PM
"MADRID—Spain's government on Monday laid out the details of its plan to cut subsidies for renewable-energy producers, a move those producers say could cause defaults across their industry." This comment was taken from the Wall Street Journal on February 3rd. Spain was the leader in adopting wind and solar and it is costing them dearly. Wind and Solar are part of the hoax which is Global Warming. It all sounds good in the class room but cannot stand review in the light of day that is the commercial market. I heard a Congresswoman on the Sunday talk shows arguing for a cost/benefit analysis on all these "mandated" programs. Sounds like a good place to start. When wind/solar become economically viable, there will be no requirement to use them, the public will beat a path to their doorway. BTW, an argument against your preconceived notions are not necessarily financially vested or plain ignorant. They may serve to provide additional information to the student willing to learn. Many of us are growing weary of the drum beat of unproven superiority.
Nancy February 19, 2014 at 02:25 AM
John Webb, give it a rest! "The hoax which is Global Warming" is a preposterous statement. Try asking how 98% of climate scientists feel about your point of view. Yeah, there are 2% who agree with you...those scientists employed by oil corporations, for the most part. Your Fox frothing would be funny if your nonsense wasn't so pathetic. "Drum beat of unproven superiority?" How about your drum beat of climate denial that is totally lacking in scientific support?
John Webb February 19, 2014 at 06:54 PM
Nancy, the climate has been changing since day one. Look at the rings on trees and it tells you a history of a planet hurling through space heating and cooling for millions of years. I remember when it was global cooling, then global warming and now climate change. Nancy, you seem smart, so follow the money. The EPA has admitted that if all the rules were implemented it would not change global warming. What this is all about is wealth transfer. First the wealth was from citizens to climate scientists who used faulty methods to develop a theory. Then the wealth was to others to reinforce the original findings. (This all fell apart two years ago when their internal documents were made public.) The final wealth transfer will be from developed countries to developing countries. It is okay to research this a little Nancy, you don't have to take Al Gore's word for it. Also Nancy, you will find the temperature stabilized a few years back and we are now back to global cooling. Just saying.....
Scott A February 20, 2014 at 12:38 AM
And for his next act, John will be telling SC that nuclear radiation is good for us and he has a bridge for sale! I don't even know where to begin debunking on his irrational rants; everything he writes is false. Yes, everyone knows the scientists are making the real money. Much better than oil companies and the rest of the energy industry.
Nancy February 20, 2014 at 06:28 PM
Ha Scott! Ain't that the truth. John's delusions make my jaw drop. "Wealth came from citizens!" (as if it were true, and even if it were, wouldn't that be a coalition worth protecting?). Regarding the human factor in global warming (yes, John, I know there is a pendulum swing in the natural physical forces' effects on climate), it appears that John thinks we humans shouldn't worry our pretty little heads about making a difference. Tell that to the parents of children who live near LA Harbor who have soaring rates of asthma. Carbon emissions DO matter at both global and local levels!
John Webb February 21, 2014 at 04:00 PM
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/371639/myth-settled-science-charles-krauthammer The above article is an interesting read.
Nancy February 21, 2014 at 07:47 PM
Gosh, Krauthammer managed to find 3 scientists to say that "computer models" are often incorrect. I don't blame tornados or storms or even droughts on global warming. The process is much more subtle than that and takes place over years. John Webb, do you think we should do nothing to reduce our carbon footprint? National Review....burp!! You know you're scraping the bottom of the barrel when the fourth sentence calls Obama the "propagandist-in-chief"--a cheesy editorial that ignores the greater scientific community, and nothing more.
John Webb February 24, 2014 at 01:22 PM
Nancy, when the student is ready the teacher will appear. You are not ready, so this conversation cannot help either of us. You cannot have a discussion when one side refuses to believe any evidence not consistent with their beliefs. There is a mound of evidence to suggest the earth does warm and cool in cycles. There is evidence to suggest in our life time we've encountered a little of both. The question then is what role do humans play in these cycles; and, if we changed human behavior would it affect the cycles? This is a conversation we could have if we removed politics and money from the issue. So far, politics and money are the filters masking any valid attempts to investigate the problem.
Nancy February 25, 2014 at 09:10 PM
Condescending much? May I suggest that you will never be ready to accept mounds of evidence that humans DO have an impact on the health of the planet? Never did I say that the earth doesn't have fluctuations naturally. But, you have a reading comprehension problem and seem to ignore that fact. I suppose NASA has a left-wing agenda in your eyes? "Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities, and most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position." Go ahead and look at the list of scientific organizations and tell me they are full of it and you know better because those organizations aren't "ready to be taught." http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus
Nancy February 25, 2014 at 09:10 PM
Again, you don't care to do anything about human impact. You just want to question whether it even exists. Again I ask: Would you like your grandchildren to live in Wilmington (near LA Harbor) or near freeways where the air pollution has greatly increased a number of negative health issues? http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/us-neighborhoods-struggle-with-health-threats-from-traffic-pollution/
Nancy February 25, 2014 at 09:12 PM
You are a fool, John Webb. An egotistical, arrogant, and unteachable fool.
John Webb February 28, 2014 at 02:59 PM
Nancy, thank you for your response. I think you have given us a clear view of your thought processes.
keyplayer March 01, 2014 at 01:24 PM
"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." Really, John? My late father had a favorite phrase he would utter whenever confronted with statements like the one you made: "Ah, the arrogance of certainty!"
Bill Koelzer March 04, 2014 at 10:27 PM
Rocky, above is RIGHT! Wind, wave or solar ONLY. Why doesn't EVERYONE see that that is the only way for the future.
John Webb March 05, 2014 at 06:36 PM
keyplayer, I think you dad was talking about global warming. Europe spent a fortune trying to switch to solar. You will find they are now rushing back to traditional sources of power to save their economies. Renewables sound great and someday might be the answer, but right now they are proving to be inadequate to power modern civilization. When effective alternate sources of power are developed, it will not take mandates to get people on board. Until then, only government mandates keep solar in business.
jeff s March 06, 2014 at 09:43 AM
Geez global warming and cooling are cyclical natural cycles.. Tell the wooly mammoth 10,000 years ago that the ice age (most recent one) was the result of pesky cavemen.. Sure..
phil March 06, 2014 at 11:06 AM
jeff, jeff, jeff - EVEYONE knows the wooly mammoth was driven to extinction from smoking cigs, drinking 32 oz sodas and eating the guac at Chipoltles!!! :>

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