Balancing economic feasibility, shareholder value, regulatory necessity and social responsibility is something that business leaders do every day.
Striking the right balance requires creativity and compromise, and no sector faces more challenges than electricity generation. If a power plant produces too much pollution, we suffer health consequences. If the cost is too high, we suffer economically. And it seems like everyone disagrees about the right balance between the two.
That’s what makes NRG Energy’s decision to spend $1 billion to capture carbon dioxide produced by one of the nation’s largest coal-fired power plants so deeply fascinating, endlessly debatable and ultimately the right thing to do. It’s a lesson in industrial economics, cost-benefit analysis and a tribute to the complex financial deal.