No problem with this:
The [Philadelphia] Eagles have contracted with SolarBlue, a renewable energy and energy conservation company based in Orlando, Fla., to install about 80 20-foot spiral-shaped wind turbines on the top rim of the stadium, affix 2,500 solar panels on the stadium's façade, and build a 7.6 megawatt biodiesel/natural gas cogeneration plant with monitoring and switching technology to operate the system.
After all, putting a nuclear energy plant at a sports stadium might well be considered overkill by the staunchest advocate – though the small reactor people might call foul on that – and it’s not as though nuclear is badly represented in Pennsylvania. It provides 35% of the electricity capacity there – second only to coal, at 48% – NEI has a fact sheet with a bunch of interesting factoids here.
I don’t know if or how much Lincoln Financial Field benefited from the nuclear presence, but it doesn’t really matter. This move is intended to send a message and engage the fans and it’s impossible to quibble with the net good of the undertaking.
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie called the plan a "vital step towards energy independence."
I looked around for more context for that quote, since energy independence isn’t what’s happening here – nuclear and coal are both home-grown and lots of fans will still be driving their gas-powered cars to the stadium. Here we go:
“The Philadelphia Eagles are proud to take this vital step towards energy independence from fossil fuels by powering Lincoln Financial Field with wind, solar and dual-fuel energy sources,” said Jeffrey Lurie, the team's owner and CEO. “This commitment builds upon our comprehensive environmental sustainability program, which includes energy and water conservation, waste reduction, recycling, composting, toxic chemical avoidance and reforestation. It underscores our strong belief that environmentally sensitive policies are consistent with sound business practices.”
Well, that makes better sense, even if nuclear energy doesn’t really fit the formulation. Regardless, they’re really all in on this – good for them – so let’s see if they take the next step and close their parking lots to encourage fans to use public transportation. (Which sounds snarky, but it’s logical and would do a lot of good.)
When one thinks of overreach in a social democracy, one assumes it would have to do with policy issues related to the so-called nanny state, such as the French protests over raising the retirement age from 62. But some German utilities are trying an argument against keeping the country’s nuclear plants open that feels like capitalistic special pleading:
The recent amendments of the [German] Atomic Energy Act extending the operating times of the German nuclear power plants remain controversial. Several local utilities (Stadtwerke) are questioning whether the extension is compatible with EU law, and have lodged a complaint with the European Commission.
It’s why they’ve done this that is rather mind boggling:
The nuclear power plants were written off [as in a financial wrtie-off], hence they could produce energy at unbeatable prices, Johannes von Bergen, Managing Director of the municipal utility of Schwäbisch Hall (Stadtwerke Schwäbisch Hall) explained.
Well, yes, indeed they could – if you pay off the plant, there’s nothing left but running costs. That can mean a lot of extra profit and better prices for consumers. It’s a classic win-win outcome and exactly what you want to happen.
But not if you expected those plants to close and they don’t:
The nuclear power extension distorts competition to the detriment of the smaller power generating companies, managing director Achim Kötzle of Stadtwerke Tübingen told the regional television and radio station SWR. His company had invested in new capacities, relying on the phase-out timing in the old AtG [the German Atomic Energy Act].
Now, Germany does have a rather more fraught relationship with nuclear energy than is true in many other parts of the world. I can’t find much to explain this other than a Chernobyl hangover, but there it is. So an argument from an aggrieved utility against charging customers less may gain traction in such an environment. But that doesn’t make it less nuts.Eagles stadium.