Wind and solar are much less financially risky than other power projects

Posted: December 13, 2014 in Uncategorized


Here in Seattle, we are in the midst of a truly epic fustercluck. We’re trying to build a huge tunnel beneath our downtown and it is not going well, to put it mildly. If only someone had warned us! (Like, I don’t know, a mayor.)

Our own Nate Johnson has written about the propensity of transportation megaprojects to blow past their projected budgets. But what about my own personal obsession, power projects? Think, for instance, of the Kemper power plant in Mississippi, which is still under construction and already several billion dollars over budget and several years behind schedule.

Is this kind of thing inevitable? If large power projects — or certain kinds of large power projects — reliably go over budget, then it may be that we’re systematically mis-predicting energy scenarios and misallocating investment dollars. How much do we really know about which power projects go…

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