Wednesday, August 31, 2011
A new report, Western Grid 2050: Contrasting Futures, Contrasting Fortunes, outlines how energy choices in eleven Western states over the coming decades will impact human health and the economy. The 165 page report suggests that a Business As Usual (BAU) scenario will evolve with higher electricity bills and U.S. businesses becoming disadvantaged in the world marketplace.
With domestic energy infrastructure investment projections exceeding $200 billion for the next 19 years, regardless whether green energy or traditional fossil fuels, it makes sense to direct more focus toward clean energy -- in large part because traditional fossil fuel infrastructure already exists.
According to the report, future electricity sector development will arise from energy efficiency mandates (that will drive down use), renewable portfolio standards and renewable energy credits (that help push in favor of clean energy).
However, utilities (and other electricity providers in retail choice geographic areas) will continue to exert considerable influence on how the nation’s energy dollars are spent – whether maintaining the existing plant and transmission status quo, or investing in technologies that drive energy savings, favor clean energy production, and provide more multifaceted grid operations such as smart meters, lithium batteries, distributed generation and home area networks.
A full copy of the report is available at: http://www.cleanenergyvision.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/WG2050_final_rev082211.pdf