Every generating resource has adverse effects on the environment, to varying degrees. The following section describes at a high level some of the primary environmental effects of generating resources, and in particular some of the emerging issues regarding decommissioning and disposal of renewable resource components as they near the end of useful life for the first time in this 20-year power plan horizon. This section is not intended to be exhaustive; for an in-depth description of the lifecycle impacts associated with electricity generation, see Appendix I of the Seventh Power Plan.

See the Council’s Methodology for Determining Quantifiable Environmental Costs and Benefits and due consideration for environmental quality to understand how the Council incorporates environmental impacts into its power plan analysis. See the Council’s quantifiable resource cost framework to understand how costs and benefits are applied across all resource options and see new generating resource options for the application of quantifiable environmental costs and benefits, along with environmental considerations such as decommissioning costs. In addition, see the section on Select Federal Statutes and Regulation Updates for a description of some of the major federal statutes and regulations that address environmental impacts of generating resources.