February 10, 2013

It never rains in Washington State

Washington State gets about 70% of its electrical power from hydroelectricity. There is a bill going through State legislature that would redefine hydro as non-renewable. The state is forcing the development of more wind farms which are renewable... When they work... And of course, we will not comment on the matching conventional generation capacity that has to be kept running on hot-standby for when the wind fails. From the Washington State Wire:
Windpower Purchasing Rules Spark Another Fight in Olympia � Green Groups Balk at Changes
Six years of battle over Washington�s renewable-energy standards has resumed at the state Capitol as utilities and business groups continue to complain that the big green-energy thrust of a 2006 ballot measure is forcing them to buy costly windpower they don�t need.
Yet that�s not the real fight. It�s about the details, nittier and grittier than ever, as utility and business groups zero in on what they call arbitrary purchasing requirements that will begin having a big impact in 2016. By that year utilities will be required to purchase 9 percent of their power from �renewable energy� sources � essentially windpower.
And the kicker:
In his news conference Wednesday, Inslee pointed to one bill introduced by Senate Energy Chairman Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, as an example of how the Senate has �gone backwards� since a Republican-leaning coalition took power at the beginning of the year. The bill would add hydropower to the definition of renewable energy � and since the state gets 70 percent of its power from hydroelectric dams, that would essentially render utility purchasing requirements meaningless. �I-937 should not be the ceiling,� the governor said. �It should be looked at as the floor.�
Emphasis mine -- hydro is a perfect example of renewable energy. It also creates lakes for recreation, it stabilizes and stores water for agriculture and domestic use. We have been to the Grand Coul�e dam in eastern Washington and we are planning to visit the Ross Lake facility sometime this summer. This is coming up this week so writing to my Representatives. I would also love to see Nuke in the picture -- Thorium reactors are the way to go but I am not holding my breath... Posted by DaveH at February 10, 2013 9:01 PM
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