Environmental Research Digest – July 2012
Black & Veatch has recently conducted its sixth annual electric utility industry survey. The engineering and consulting firm surveyed 543 managers and engineers across the US from Feb. 22 through March 23.
- Carbon emissions rank third—up from sixth last year—among electric utilities’ top environmental concerns.
- For the sixth straight year, water supply issues were second only to carbon emissions legislation as the top environmental concern in the industry.
- More than 90 percent of respondents believe that renewables will increase prices for consumers anywhere from 5 to 30 percent, with the largest percentage (38 percent) assuming a 10 percent increase for their customers.
- Additionally, 65 percent of utility respondents reported rate increases during the past year, and 92 percent reported that the cost of regulations will cause prices to rise for consumers.
- More than 52 percent said complying with regulatory and environmental rules reduce emissions will require them to “significantly” raise customer rates, while 40 percent expected rates to increase “slightly.”
- When it comes to “viable clean energy” technologies, the “big three” that electric utilities project for 2020 are:
- natural gas (79 percent),
- hydroelectric (61 percent) and
- nuclear (52 percent).
- Which rank above:
- wind power (40 percent),
- solar energy (32 percent),
- biomass (29 percent),
- coal gasification (19 percent) and
- tidal generation (9 percent).
Black & Veatch Corp