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APR 25, 2013 - The Economist

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The Tennessee Valley Authority: Dammed if you don’t

EIGHTY years ago Franklin Roosevelt signed a law creating America’s biggest public utility. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was charged with delivering cheap hydropower to the rural South, which it did by damming the Tennessee river (see map).Today hydropower accounts for just 9% of the power it generates; the rest comes from coal (41%), nuclear (38%) and natural gas (12%), with a token contribution of less than 1% from renewables (mostly solar). The TVA sells electricity, mainly to distributors but also directly to industry, within a service area designated by the original law: most of ... Read More

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