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.