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Utility Industry Looks At Indiana’s Energy Options

Duke Energy Gibson Plant in Gibson County, Indiana.

Utility industry stakeholders have turned their attention to the future of energy at IUPUI‘s annual energy conference. Speakers discussed prospects for increased use of natural gas or nuclear energy, or for energy-efficiency measures that would produce more bang for the buck.

Anna Chittum with the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy says Indiana could add more than three gigawatts of generating capacity by offering utilities incentives to build plants which produce both power and heat.

“If you‘re looking at an industrial firm today, you ask them to make an investment in something that has a five-year payback period, and the answer is no but utilities can do that,” Chittum says. “So our emphasis is if utilities were somehow incentivized through shareholder incentives, through some mechanism where they could earn returns on investment.”

Lieutenant governor candidates Vi Simpson and Sue Ellspermann laid out the energy planks of their running mates, Democrat John Gregg and Republican Mike Pence. Both campaigns have pledged to embrace Indiana coal and make it a priority to keep Hoosier energy costs low, but they differ on Pence‘s suggestion that it‘s time to revisit the idea of adding nuclear power to the mix.

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