Climate Accord Could Provide Economic Assist As Utilities Reshape Power Generation Portfolios

By Ken Silverstein, Forbes.

The COP21 climate accord is likely to add momentum to a realignment occurring in energy markets. While the trend toward a lower carbon future has long been underway, market participants have a bit more certainty now that 187 nations have signed on.

The winners and losers are conspicuous: coal producers will get hit the hardest as national governments speed up the shift to cleaner fuels. Natural gas and renewables, meanwhile, can expect exponential growth. And with that, major makers of power generators smell the potential.

“I’m partial to natural gas,” says Joe Mastrangelo, chief executive of GE Power Systems, at the PowerGen conference in Las Vegas last week. “But we can sell anything: wind, solar, offshore wind, nuclear and even large coal plants. Right now, gas is hot and we are forecasting 50 percent growth” around the world.