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7 Comments

  1. The article states Wal-Mart wants to be totally powered by renewables. What is so amazing is the constant suggestion that renewables can already today provide reliable electricity, and backup generation is never mentioned! Scores of articles tell of how many “homes” (seems to be the new unit for electricity) this solar or that wind turbine project can power, with NO mention of backup generation.
    And they keep on comparing apples to oranges, always mentioning how the price of x MW from wind power is competitive to x MW from conventional power plants. Where are the giant batteries that store wind or solar generated energy? Where are the success stories of how wind power has replaced coal or gas fired plants?

    1. The success stories of replacing coal or gas-fired plants are implied by these stories, and the supporters never bother to correct the record. Take a look at the first sentence of this wikipedia page if you don’t believe me:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_effects_of_wind_power
      Your first point is made worse by all of this nonsense about buying “only renewable energy” from your electric company as if 1) they can direct the flow of specific electrons and 2) guarantee output from renewable sources when you need it.

      1. Some utilities offer 100% wind power plans – to be honest, they would have to ensure that every wind-power kWh that a customer “thinks” he is buying is either immediately or later supplied by a wind turbine and is actually consumed by the customers. I doubt that they can ensure that. How would consumers like their 100% wind power plan if it meant *intermittent* power supply depending on the weather?
        What we would need is a wide range of choices for our personal electricity supply. They offer us only green power, but no other choices. If they would offer a pure nuclear option and a coal option, etc. then consumers could be voting with their wallets.

  2. It’ll raise my company’s electric costs by quite a bit (and for what?) I mean, it’s a great thing that Cape Wind was approved to be built – just to prove a point about NIMBYism – progress needs to continue – but now, let Cape Wind find its own customers instead of foisting expensive, unreliable power on National Grid’s general mass of ratepayers.
    I can imagine there are a lot of environmental NGOs who’ll be lining up to buy their power from Cape Wind. Perhaps Congressman Markey can lead by example, too.

    1. Clarification: the use of the term “my company” means the company that I work for (that shall remain nameless); not a company that I own…I don’t own any companies…at the present… 🙂

  3. Big companies opt out of expensive power. In Vermont, Efficiency Vermont was started with an efficiency charge on all electric bills, sometime around 2000.
    The biggest employer in Vermont, the IBM wafer fab plant, objected. “We will do our own electric efficiency, thank you very much. We do not need Efficiency Vermont services and we aren’t paying for those services.” And so they don’t pay the surcharge. They are enrolled in the SMEEP program for companies (big companies) with their own in-house efficiency programs.
    http://psb.vermont.gov/projects/eeu/smeep
    If Cape Wind happens, you can expect the same sort of thing. Any extra costs will be passed on to the Little People, not businesses.

  4. It’s a great thing to have an unreliable, high priced ‘eye candy’ power source added to the grid? Baseline power? No way!
    If congressman Malarkey wishes to pay extra for green points it is fine with me but I have no intention of doing so!
    WalMart is into ‘green’ to pacify a part of their customer base plus some parts are good business and common sense. That does not mean they have to buy into every fruitcake scheme that comes along.

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