According to the Government Accountability Office, the United
States derived 6% of it's energy from renewables in 1973 the exact
same percentage as in 2005! After all the political pronouncements, climate
warnings, and technical breakthroughs the renewable share of
the energy pie hasn't changed! It's time to shift how we power
the lights of our world, and use non-polluting resources.
California is once again taking a leadership role with several initiatives
which should be considered by utilities and states around the world.
This began with Gov. Schwarzenegger signing $3 billion in tax incentives
towards new renewable resource development. He then joined with the Northeastern
states in a "cap and trade" program that sets a price for carbon
dioxide and uses the market to help drive more efficient technologies.
The California Independent System Operator (ISO), who operates
the transmission grid, is proposing a new financing
plan for transmission lines to access remote renewable energy resources.
Often the best wind, geothermal and solar resource is located far from
major cities and industry. High-voltage lines are the "electron
highways" that deliver electricity to our homes and businesses. As
a public benefit corporation, the ISO is creating a new payment mechanism
for renewable developers to gain access to the transmission grid.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is ending
state support for new coal-fired power plants unless they capture their
greenhouse gases. California will not sign any new long term contracts
with out-of-state coal-fired plants. Coal is the worst emitter of CO2,
and if other states follow suit, this rule could dramatically shift how
the U.S. produces electricity.
We are all buyers of energy from an electric utility. What if your
Governor, Public Utilities Commission, and ISO made these same commitments
towards clean energy and CO2 reduction? The lights will
stay on, jobs will grow domestically and the air will be cleaner. It's
a win-win for society, business and the environment.
In partnership for the planet,