By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The glow of multiple electronic devices, all charging overnight, basked Haley Fisackerly’s otherwise dark living room recently in a soft light.
Fisackerly, the president and CEO of Entergy Mississippi, cited that scene as evidence of modern America’s voracious energy appetite. Despite the country’s best efforts to go green, the silent sucking of countless little devices has helped drive up energy demand.
“Forty percent of your devices in the home didn’t exist 20 years ago,” Fisackerly said Friday at The Summit Center, where he was the Kiwanis Club of Tupelo’s guest speaker.
“A cell phone charger left plugged in the wall pulls electricity,” he said. “It doesn’t make a big difference to your home utility bill, but multiply it by one million and it makes a big difference from our standpoint.”
Entergy Mississippi provides power to 445,000 customers in 45 counties in the western half of the state. Northeast Mississippi gets its power from the Tennessee Valley Authority. Sixty percent of Entergy’s electricity comes from natural gas, 20 percent comes from nuclear power, with coal and purchased energy providing the rest.
Fisackerly said new shale-fracturing technologies have boosted the availability and lowered the price of natural gas. But he said growing energy demands at home and abroad will force Entergy, TVA and other suppliers to expand their power sources.
Renewable energy like wind and solar are good, he said, but coal and nuclear plants will continue to provide the bulk of America’s electricity for the foreseeable future. Fisackerly deemed the country’s 104 active nuclear reactors safe in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster.
“The U.S. nuclear industry works at a lot higher level of safety than anywhere else,” he said, explaining the numerous safeguards in place in case of emergencies.
But he said the federal government must issue a reliable energy policy – and soon – “so that Entergy and TVA can make the right decisions to invest for the future.”
Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or firstname.lastname@example.org.