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The conjunctural low price of gas (the shale thing is probably peaking now) and the structural low price of coal, will certainly not deliver a "pure market"-based solution for going renewable in east coast US electricity markets.

Luckily, American electricity markets have generally been very heavily "managed". As I understand it, during the period when the nuclear build was happening, in any market where a nuke station was envisaged, the regulator asked the utility how much they needed to charge for the electricity in order to be profitable, and that turned out to be the price fixed by the regulator (the UK is going through this process at the moment).

This is a rational way to enable the planning that any electrical system needs. You need to have some goals, and policy instruments to achieve them. Oddly, even after ENRON, this idea doesn't seem too popular in the US...

The two main instruments available in NY's case to scale up wind would be guaranteeing cheap finance, and a feed-in tariff.

The other obvious necessity is to address carbon pricing. I don't know how many dollars per ton you would need to tax CO2 in order to make wind competitive with gas and coal, in the case of NY. I don't know, also, if the state could levy such a tax (on electricity generated out of state, in particular?)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Oct 8th, 2013 at 06:01:05 AM EST

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