By V.K. Mathur
The premature shutdown of coal and nuclear power plants is sobering evidence that some parts of the country could face an electric power crisis.
New England is especially hard put to keep up with the demand for electricity from industrial and commercial customers who need “big data” to stay competitive. In the last three decades, computing speeds have risen more than 200,000-fold, but there is scant awareness of the enormous amount of electricity needed to power the digital revolution. Thousands of data centers are being built across the country, each needing as much electricity as a large factory.
Worse still, no coal plant planned for future use can meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed standards for greenhouse gas emissions, and the new requirement to curb carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal plants is putting further pressure on coal. Together, the rules could lead to coal’s demise.