France's EDF outbids Buffet for nuclear power utility Constellation Energy

December 19 2008 / by Garry Golden
Category: Energy   Year: 2014   Rating: 1

Nuclear Power Plant Byron Station

Nuclear power has not stopped being controversial in the US, but global industry leaders still see America as a market for growth in electricity generation.  

There are enormous challenges ahead for revitalizing support for nuclear power, but if the US does restart its nuclear power program, it will not do it alone.  And it's possible that pressure could be strongest from companies based outside the US.  Aside from flat public support, there is a notable lack of human engineering talent in the US.   

France invests in US power generation market
Now we have a new player in the nuclear industry.  France's utility giant EdF has outbid Warren Buffet's MidAmerican Energy to buy Baltimore-based Constellation Energy which has a nuclear power generation heavy portfolio.  EDF will invest $1 billion in Constellation, and up to $2 billion for non-nuclaer power plant investments.

Buffet did not walk away empty handed from his earlier effort to buy Constellation, and has doubled his money in less than a year as he retains a 9% stake and $593 million in cash. 

This is a significant investment by France's EDF in the US power generation market, and could be a milestone in the new battle for public support for nuclear power.

[It should be noted that, aside from all the legacy controversy issues, nuclear energy is NOT a substitute for oil or liquid fuels.  Nuclear plants produce electricity and we cannot fill combustion engines with electrons.  So the argument that nuclear energy provides for 'energy independence' falls flat.]

Image Credit: Christopher Peterson of Exelon Byron Station Flickr CC License Attribution Generic

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