A small but growing energy industry could mean a lot of green for South Carolina -- and as one of the most nuclear-dependent states in the country, the next two decades could be crucial in determining South Carolina’s nuclear future, particularly since operating licenses for all seven existing nuclear units in the state are set to expire between 2033 and 2043.
A 2014 study by the SC Department of Commerce, DHEC, New Carolina and RecyclonomicsSC found that there are over 520 recycling-related companies in South Carolina. This study also found that in the past eight years alone, the recycling industry has “doubled its annual total economic impact: from $6.5 billion in 2006 to $14 billion in 2014.”
On Monday, South Carolina filed its 13-page response to the federal government’s Clean Power Plan, the far-reaching proposal that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hopes will cut carbon pollution by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Wood said of his 2014 Special Recognition Award from the South Carolina Solar Council. Over nearly four decades, he has survived an industry energy insiders refer to as “the solar coaster ride,” hanging on as solar energy went in and out of fashion. Business would grow dramatically and then shrink again as the prices of other fuels rose and fell.
With some of the lowest natural gas costs in the country, this region has attracted more businesses and freed up development cash.
What will power the vehicles of the future? Innovators in the Upstate are discovering the answers.