Jul 1, 2009

Nuclear unclear without loan guarantees...

Exelon Corp. has called off plans to build two new nuclear reactors in Victoria, Texas. The culprit, chairman and chief executive John Rowe, told the Associated Press was "worries over the economy and the limited availability of federal loan guarantees."
Exelon heeds the street stenciling.

We could also raise all the issues that hound the nuclear revival - where to store the waste and the economics. (We have already, if you’re interested.)

What caught our attention was the second part of what Mr. Rowe said. The death knell is that Exelon wasn't on the shortlist of energy companies to receive $18.5 billion in federal loan guarantees. It’s worth noting that NRG is on the government’s loan list, putting Exelon on the list if the acquisition goes through.

This all underscores a critical issue in the fast-changing energy economy - and it seems to be as true for nuclear power as it for advanced biofuels or even wind and solar: the roll of governments is critical today, more critical than at any time, perhaps, in decades. Governments from the U.S. to Japan to China and the E.U. are picking winners and backing certain energy sources.

Whether this will accelerate an energy transformation - or delay it - remains to be seen.

Read full from Wall Street Journal Blog