Promoting a Level Playing Field for Energy Options: Electricity Alternatives and the Case of the Indian Point Energy Center

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Brown, Marilyn A.
Sovacool, Benjamin K.
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The Indian Point Energy Center, with two operational nuclear reactors, sits in a densely populated region just 40 miles north of midtown Manhattan. It is a vital part of the electricity supply system for the New York City region, but its propinquity to the largest city in the United States has raised public concerns about its safe operation, particularly in the event of a terrorist attack. Such concerns prompted the U.S. Congress to request a study of potential options for replacing the 2,000 MW of power provided by Indian Point. This paper assesses the potential for electricity alternatives in the Indian Point service area. It documents that increased investments in energy efficiency, combined heat and power facilities, and solar photovoltaics could cost-competitively reduce peak demand in the Indian Point service area by 1 Gigawatt (GW) or more by 2010 and by 1.5 GW by 2015. If the cost of solar photovoltaics can be brought to near competitive levels over the next decade, these totals could be raised to 1.7 GW by 2015, approaching the capacity of the Indian Point Energy Center. This result challenges the conventional focus of system operators and policymaker on supply-side solutions.
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