Edison International Chairman and CEO John Bryson wants a “diversified mix” of energies, he told CNBC’s Bill Griffeth on “Power Lunch.”
Edison, one of the U.S.’ largest electric utilities firms, is broadening its focus from coal to natural gas and renewable energy.
But Bryson has no plans on “abandoning” coal just yet. He said that despite environmental imperatives to reduce so-called greenhouse gas emissions, coal remains a critical domestic fuel: “Coal will be a part of the future,” he said. “But what we’re doing is substantially cleaning up our coal plants -- and then we’re embarked on new clean-coal generation technologies.”
While renewable energy is typically more expensive than coal-fired power, wind power costs have improved significantly, he said: One unit of Southern California Edison (a subsidiary of Edison International) buys one-sixth of all renewable energy in the U.S. for its customers.
And the firm has a promising wind power subsidiary: “We think it’s more likely that we would develop than buy, because we think we can do it at lower prices -- and greater prices for our shareholders -- by developing it ourselves,” Bryson said.