1. This interview is pure gold, but I don’t draw the same conclusions you do. First of all, I see a competent and polite man who believes strongly in the potential of fission but has been running up against impassable cultural (and as a result, economic) barriers his entire career. It’s his business to know what’s going on in the energy markets and I believe he’s shared his educated beliefs about that honestly here, and I thank him for it.

    He’s told us frankly that:
    “… we bought John Deere Wind … betting on the political market. We think that, regardless of the speeches I give, many States — perhaps even the federal government — will continue to have renewable energy portfolio standards. If we have to buy it, we want to sell it too. … Right now the wind that’s out there — many thousands of megawatts — is *all* driven by State requirements. It’s always the case of an unwilling buyer and a very willing seller.”

    And he’s made a very dire prediction, that wind may become economical in 30 years, but not because it gets cheaper! In other words, that energy becomes very expensive in the future. That would be very bad indeed:
    “It could be wind which will become more economic over [the next thirty years] — not because it’s going get that much cheaper, but because other things continue to get more expensive.”

    1. @Carl – you have not been following Exelon as long as I have. Before Rowe became the only CEO, the company, formed via a merger between Commonwealth Edison and PECO, had co-CEO’s. The other one was an amazing leader and visionary named Corbin McNeill.

      Unlike Rowe, Corbin saw that new nuclear might be “too expensive”, but did not think of that as a permanent situation. He realized that just like patience and commitment can cause unreliable technology like wind turbines and solar panels to fall in price, similar efforts could push nuclear power plants down in price.

      Instead of just complaining, he did something and invested a little of Exelon’s money into a project called the PBMR. That investment was not only provided needed capital, but was also a vote of confidence in a new company. When Rowe took over, he halted the participation and the investment, pulling the rug out from under a potentially game changing technology. He did that because he did not see any room for growth in his service territory; he wanted to pursue a high price strategy rather than an increasing volume strategy.


      He also ensured that the two unit Zion facility was destroyed rather than restored to operational status. There are lots of links on Atomic Insights about that particular example of greedy behavior.

      I hate it when people like Rowe pretend like they have no power or influence over the government’s stupid rules to establish renewable portfolio standards. Instead of just going along, why doesn’t he take the moral high ground and say the truth – wind energy is a silly waste of money if your mission is to provide reliable, low cost, clean power to enable economic prosperity (not just for your customers, but for your company.)

      Take a good look at that stock price history. Think about what it might have been if the PBMR project had been vigorously pursued instead of being allowed to wither away. Then tell me again why you think John Rowe is anything more than a selfish, rich accountant with no vision for the future.

  2. I don’t think he’s a selfish, rich accountant, no. He’s obviously not that by looking at him. CEOs kill projects for lots of reasons, and the PBMR project had more than one. I don’t know about Zion so I’ll demur. You continually underestimate tremendous public support for “renewables”. I don’t think the CEO of a nuclear company really has much power to change it.

  3. Rowe must be in the 0.01%. Why would you expect anything that is not self-serving?

    1. I don’t. And you are correct, John Rowe is a very wealthy man who apparently looking down on people. He was also very lucky to have been able to take credit for the exceptional work done by Oliver Kingsley to improve Commonwealth Edison’s nuclear plant performance.


      In rereading that article I relearned something I once knew, Rowe is not an accountant, as I called him a few days ago. He is a lawyer, a profession with an even higher percentage of greedy non producers than accounting.

  4. You will find out rowe’s self-comes-first stance by asking current and past employees, Are you better of now than 5-years ago? It will go something like this; Thank goodness I still have a job at this miserable work place and, Downsizing former company staff paved the way for upsizing his golden parachute. Wonder if he gets the mummy back now?

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