Controversial Alexandria coal plant to close
Symbolic closing gives environmentalists hope.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - 21:04
THE RISING SUN: The morning sun soars above the GenOn plant. (Photo: trentroche/Flickr)
Alexandria's GenOn coal-fired electric plant had been located surprisingly close to the nation's capital for almost 60 years. However, the old plant now only provides around 5 percent of electricity for the city and its owners have determined that it is not cost-effective in the current energy economy. The closing of the plant, which is set for October 2012, has been sought for the last 12 years by environmental activists.
Obama's term as president, despite bringing disappointment to many environmentalists, will have seen a nation's capital with solar panels atop the White House and coal plants eradicated from the immediate area. While symbolism alone won't defeat climate change, perhaps there is a future in the not-too-far distance where solar surpasses coal?
How long until innovations in solar technology reach the market and make coal obsolete? Will Bloomberg's $50 million spur the "Beyond Coal" movement to quicken this energy transition?
While GenOn is just one plant, and a transition won't happen overnight, the future for renewables looks bright.