Commentary by Jim Warren
Long-predicted and hopeful changes are quickly occurring in the electric power industry – even as scientists and bizarre weather remind us that dramatic action is needed to avert irreversible climate and economic chaos.
Duke Energy – based in Charlotte and serving Orange County – is now the world’s largest electric utility. So Duke could become a climate game-changer.
The power industry’s own trade group is warning that US utilities trying to hang on to monopoly control over customers – while raising rates repeatedly to build fossil and nuclear power plants – face a corporate death spiral because of falling prices of solar power and other market advances.
Many U.S. homes and businesses now generate their own electricity with rooftop solar. And several companies are now marketing solar photovoltaics paired with small, conventional generators and storage systems. This spells steadily decreasing purchases of power from coal, gas and nuclear plants.
NC WARN continues to wrestle Duke Energy over rate hikes, pollution and its puny commitment to renewable power in the Carolinas.
Since the clean energy revolution is inevitable, NC WARN keeps appealing to Duke leaders: let’s work together and make the shift now – while there’s still time to avert the climate change tipping point.