Letter: Tell Hick to veto the rural energy bill
Ryan Summerlin June 3, 2013
Tell Hick to veto the rural energy bill
To the Editor:
Colorado Democrats have gone wild this year passing bills that raised our taxes, added regulations and passed anti-business legislation.
One of the bills that did all of these is Senate Bill 252, which would raise the renewable energy standard for rural electrics from 10 percent to 20 percent. This is essentially a tax on rural Colorado, as our electric rates will go up to pay for more expensive wind and solar power. It will also push jobs out of our state, as the rural power companies will probably go out of state where there is more wind and sun to meet the new regulation.
What is the reason for this bill? It is to reduce CO2, which is thought to cause global warming. I don’t believe the global warming alarmists but that will have to wait for another letter. So the critical question is: will the bill work to reduce CO2? The answer is no. Wind and solar work only one-third of the time and the rest of the day they have to be backed up by gas or coal powered electricity. Wind energy is particularly inefficient as maximum wind rates are from midnight to 2 a.m. when power demands are low.
The problem with this cycle is that when wind and solar plants are generating power the gas or coal plants need to be shut down to take the renewable power. Cycling a coal plant down and back up actually produces more CO2 than if you just ran the coal plant all day. So, more CO2 is produced by using renewables and coal combined than just using coal. The cycle down effect is not quite as bad with gas but still reduces the perceived benefit of CO2 reduction of any renewable energy plant. Bottom line: Wind and Solar are not sources of clean commercial-scale electricity.
The legislation also does not give the power company any flexibility to solve the problem on their own. A logical solution is to encourage the rural power companies to convert coal plants to natural gas, which has 50 percent less CO2 emissions. Nationwide the US has reduced its CO2 emissions by 12 percent from 2005 to 2012 mainly by switching from coal to natural gas (WSJ 4/23/13). This reduction of CO2 was without Obama’s intrusive cap and trade Bill.
Tell Governor Hickenlooper to veto Senate Bill 252.