• Renewable energy solution
    February 05,2014

    Renewable energy solution

    Don’t be fooled by their ads. Pure profits drive the corporations that sell renewable energy — wind or solar — without regard to net gain or loss to the environment or even to electricity reliability to their customers. To get them to act in the best interests of the public, the solution is to require these companies to supply 100 percent of the electricity needs of their subscribers. Not just when the wind blows or the sun shines — 100 percent of the time.

    They can create the base load to cover night or no-wind periods any way they want. They could partner with other companies — biomass, geothermal, turbo generators, etc. — or buy power from the open market, as long as they don’t buy from coal or gas generation sources.

    Their predicted electricity rates will have to be competitive and will be controlled by regulation so there will be no price gouging or rate creep. There should also be large penalties if they create blackouts or brownouts to their subscribers, and there should be no feed-in-tariff subsidies from the state.

    This kind of contract will stop these companies from making false statements about how many homes they can supply. It will assure that there will be a net decrease in emissions while also forcing the renewable electric supplier to realistically predict its real power production capacity, create the most efficient renewables and maintain optimum renewable performance and distribution.

    If there are still any companies that can meet these requirements and pass noise, drainage, wildlife and safety issues, then we should all fully welcome their contribution to Vermont. Unfortunately, this approach virtually eliminates all their opportunities to lie, cheat and steal while also ending the cash-cow guaranteed profits from underperforming installations.

    Tom Watkins


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