Companies that want to retire their CO2-emitting assets (coal, oil, gas) can struggle to afford the cost of the decommissioning process. Brad Handler and Morgan Bazilian at the Payne Institute for Public Policy, writing for the World Economic Forum, explain how the creation of a new financial instrument, the 'carbon retirement portfolio' (CRP), could be a solution. In essence, it’s simple. Investors create a fund that buys the asset and takes the … [Read more...]
200 – 400 Nuclear reactors to be decommissioned by 2040
Denis Iurchak has taken a close look at nuclear decommissioning. Globally, 447 nuclear reactors are in operation as of January 2020. Of those, nearly 70% are older than 30 years (25% are older than 40 years). The IEA says around 200 commercial reactors are to be shut down in the next two decades. On top of that, 182 reactors are already in permanent shutdown. This means that between 200 and 400 reactors are likely to be decommissioned by 2040, … [Read more...]
Private finance must invest in carbon asset retirement, not just clean energy
The Climate Finance Leadership Initiative (CFLI) is laying out concrete plans for the private sector to finance the low-carbon transition, say Tyeler Matsuo and Lucy Kessler of Rocky Mountain Institute. One important insight of their new report “Financing the Low-Carbon Future” is that it’s not enough to back clean energy. Climate finance also needs to accelerate the retirement and transformation of the carbon assets that are responsible for 78% … [Read more...]
Is selling nuclear plants for decommissioning a safety issue?
In the U.S., last month, the $48bn nuclear firm Exelon sold its Oyster Creek power plant to a smaller privately-owned firm, Holtec International, that specialises in decommissioning. It’s one of several similar recent transactions that sound sensible. But Lucas Davis, at the Haas School of Business, and Catherine Hausman, of the University of Michigan, argue this may present an economic text book case of “moral hazard”. Big firms are more likely … [Read more...]
Eiffel Towers in the North Sea – Shell’s decommissioning plans another Brent Spar PR disaster?
Shell is preparing to start the decommissioning of its four gigantic oil platforms in the famous Brent field in the Scottish part of the North Sea – a huge undertaking. Unfortunately, write Professor Alex Russell of the Oil Industry Finance Association and Professor Peter Strachan of Robert Gordon University, the company plans to dismantle only the topsides of the platforms. It wants to leave the Eiffel-tower sized legs, including 64 giant … [Read more...]