Tag Archives: John Rowe

The Top Ten Players in Green Energy: Nos. 1-5

5:   A123 Systems

It’s been a little more than a month since the initial public offering (IPO) of lithium-ion battery maker, A123 Systems.

So far the stock is still trading above its IPO price. On Monday, November 2nd the stock closed at $19.54. The company went public on September 23 at $13.50. A couple of weeks ago it announced a deal with Japanese heavy equipment manufacturer IHI Corp., to sell batteries and battery systems to the automobile and ship building sectors. The deal assures A123 an entry into the competitive Japanese and Asian markets.

But will the battery maker run out of breath? The stock is down from its $28.20 high of a few weeks ago and although its revenues are steadily climbing, the company has yet to turn a profit.

4:   Exxon Mobil Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson

Rex w. Tillerson

The head of the world’s most powerful company will always be a force to be reckoned with.

We challenged his advocacy of a carbon tax at the beginning of October, which seems more like a stall tactic than an actual move forward on climate change legislation. But a company that plows tens of billions of dollars into energy R&D and exploration – notably a $600 million investment in Synthetic Genomics’ algae-based biofuel – wields a lot of clout.

Lately, Exxon officials have also been pushing natural gas as the clean and cost-effective fossil fuel of the future. And you know, they’ve got a point… Continue reading The Top Ten Players in Green Energy: Nos. 1-5

All Cap-and-Trade Is Local

WCI partners and observers

Last spring, speaking to a group of MBA students and cleantech and renewable energy investors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Exelon CEO John Rowe, an ardent defender of cap-and-trade, vowed that carbon pricing was not a matter of  “if but “when” and that companies like his were already  factoring a priced carbon in their long-term planing.

Rowe’s  forecast took a beating last week when  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) opted not to push a comprehensive climate change and energy bill through the Senate. He just, “didn’t have the votes,” Reid said. But a week after this setback, Rowe’s educated prediction is back on track, especially after yesterday’s unveiling by a group of U.S. states and Canadian provinces, of a plan that seeks to price all green house gases by 2012. Continue reading All Cap-and-Trade Is Local

Senate Democrats Kill Cap-and-Trade Bill

Cap -and -trade is officially dead. This afternoon Senate Democrats, in a caucus meeting, decided not to pursue legislation that would seek to cap carbon and other green house gases by pricing them, a market-friendly scheme known as cap-and-trade.

This is a clear setback for cleantech and renewable energy companies.  A comprehensive climate change and energy law would have provided both the long-term certainty and funding they currently lack.

Continue reading Senate Democrats Kill Cap-and-Trade Bill

Kerry – Lieberman: The Reaction

Reaction to the Kerry – Lieberman climate change and energy legislation has been positive, largely for being what it is: A solid effort by the U.S. to tackle the climate change issue that comes years after major industrialized nations in Europe rolled out their own carbon-pricing plan. See here, for our analysis on the bill’s chances of  getting passed the Senate.

The environmental community likes the bill’s cap-and-trade provision but opposes its support for offshore oil and gas drilling and funding to expand nuclear power generation. Oil and gas companies, which would be the most affected by the legislation, rehashed talking-points supporting the need to tackle the climate change issue, but largely remained on the side lines, avoiding to take a position until a careful  analysis of the legislation.  We’ve compiled a roundup of the various reactions to Kerry – Lieberman by key participants in the ongoing climate change debate.

Senator Lindsey Graham, (R-S.C.)

I believe the broad concepts we came up with before are transformational and are the most consumer and business-friendly effort to date in dealing with carbon pollution. Most importantly, they can serve as a framework in allowing America to lead in the creation of alternative energy jobs and significantly reducing our dependency on foreign oil. With these goals in mind, I am interested in carefully reviewing the details of the new proposal.

Abandoning drilling and fossil fuels is not a realistic option. However, it is imperative that we pause to find out what led to the historic oil spill in the Gulf and ensure that it never happens again. The reality still remains that fossil fuels will be required in America for decades to come.

Spokesperson Morgan Crinklaw, speaking for Chevron

We will not take a position on this bill until we have a chance to review the language and evaluate it against our climate change principles. Chevron shares the concerns of governments and the public about climate change. We believe that any climate change legislative framework should maximize energy efficiency and conservation, be implemented at the national level, be fair to the participating sectors, and avoid duplicative regulation. It should also be aligned with, and assessed against, broad policy objectives. Once we have an opportunity to fully review the bill, we will engage and provide constructive input.

Continue reading Kerry – Lieberman: The Reaction

Exclusive: Exelon CEO John Rowe Slams Cap and Trade Alternative

Exelon's Rowe: cap and dividend is a no-go

Exelon Corp. Chief Executive?John Rowe on Saturday slammed an alternative to cap-and-trade now being considered by Congress and said the EPA’s plan to regulate carbon emissions is a nonstarter.

Rowe, who runs one of the country’s largest utilities, said the so-called cap and dividend plan would “not work” and would act as “a halfway house to a full cap-and-trade system.” Continue reading Exclusive: Exelon CEO John Rowe Slams Cap and Trade Alternative

Exelon’s John Rowe: The Pragmatic Businessman, Favors Cap-and-Trade Over EPA

Rowe:Yes to Cap-and-Trade

Just a couple of weeks after pulling his company out of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, John Rowe, CEO of Chicago-based power company Exelon made an impassioned and politically savvy plea for cap-and-trade, saying it was the most effective and business friendly tool to fight global warming, and arguing that renewable portfolio standards are expensive for energy consumers.

The alternative to cap-and-trade, he warned, would be regulation of CO2 by an omnipotent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Speaking at the PennFuture Southeast Global Warming Conference in Pennsylvania, Rowe reiterated his belief that human activity has contributed to global warming, saying that the facts were “unambiguous.”

Given this reality, he urged:

The critical first step to dealing with greenhouse gas emissions, particularly CO2, is to place a price on carbon. Nothing else will encourage low-carbon investments and discourage high-carbon investments.

Take that, Chamber of Commerce!

But Rowe also criticized the current rush towards wind and solar development at the expense of cheaper solutions. Top on his list is energy efficiency (better windows, more insulation, more efficient power distribution with smart grid) as well as the “nuclear uprates” — increasing the power output of existing reactors by refueling them and replacing power plant components to handle the increased heat output of the reactor. This makes sense coming from the CEO of one of the country’s largest nuclear power generators.

He said:

We must have a system that forces us to do the cheapest things first, like energy efficiency and nuclear uprates, and the other items in merit order.

Energy efficiency is the bore of the cleantech crowd. It’s the least technologically exciting, but it is also the easiest to accomplish and most cost-effective of the green solutions. Acres of concentrating solar power collectors in the Mojave Desert are a British pop band headlining in a Brooklyn club. Retrofitting industrial complexes with efficient motors and HVAC systems is the local open-mic night at a Chicago neighborhood tavern.

The jury is still out on the ability of the new technologies such as wind, solar, and geothermal to replace CO2-heavy baseload generation.

So, Don’t expect Exelon to follow utilities like Pacific Gas and Electric, investing in the construction of massive solar or wind farms. Rowe says these technologies only make sense in an environment where CO2 is priced, and then only when the price for a ton of CO2 hovers between $50 and $90, based on Exelon’s own analysis.

Rowe is a politically savvy businessman and long-time believer in global warming who doesn’t want the government telling him what to do, especially not the EPA. Given the choice between a legislated cap-and-trade solution and a more heavy-handed EPA regulation regime, he’s going with cap-and-trade. He’s also looking out for his shareholders as he advocates for cheap and proven — insulation over insolation — strategies to cut carbon emissions.

Photo: Courtesy Business Week

PG&E, Exelon, PNM Turn Their Back On Corporate Americas Man in Washington…

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of Washington’s most powerful lobbying groups, is in crisis mode as three of the country’s largest power companies — San Francisco?s Pacific Gas and Electric, Chicago-based Exelon, New Mexico’s PNM – have all in the past week announced that they are quitting the organization, citing the group’s opposition to climate change legislation. That’ doesn’t make for good PR.

And so, taking a page from “PR crisis management 101″, on Tuesday Chamber CEO Thomas Donohue released a statement in which he manages to both support and oppose climate change legislation. He said the chamber supported “strong federal legislation…to reduce carbon emissions? but at the same time maintained its opposition to Waxman-Markey, the comprehensive climate change and energy bill approved by the House this summer.

On Waxman-Markey, Donohue said:

We [the Chamber] oppose the Waxman-Markey bill because it is neither comprehensive nor international, and it falls short on moving renewable and alternative technologies into the marketplace and enabling our transition to a lower carbon future. It would also impose carbon tariffs on goods imported into the United States, a move that would almost certainly spur retaliation from global trading partners.

Waxman-Markey is the closest thing the U.S. has to comprehensive climate change legislation. And because it was the first bill to be approved by a full floor vote, it’s also likely that many of its provisions, including cap-and-trade, will be a part of the legislation the President ends up signing. Continue reading PG&E, Exelon, PNM Turn Their Back On Corporate Americas Man in Washington…