(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
On a recent Spring day Germany generated over 50 percent of its energy from solar:
Germany, with 1.4m PV systems, generated a peak of 23.1GW hours at lunchtime on Monday 9 June, equivalent to 50.6% of its total electricity need. According to government development agency Germany trade and invest (GTAI), solar power grew 34% in the first five months of 2014 compared to last year.
This is truly amazing and shows what can be done with some wise infrastructure investments and a willingness to tell your local Coal Barons to "suck it". Oh wait, that particular Koch – Colorado's own Bill – has seemingly moved on from coal, while Colorado has most decidedly not and still relies on coal for 66% of its energy.
The recent fire and power outage at Colorado Springs' Drake Power Plant has given the city, and the state in my humble opinion, an opportunity to turn its eye towards the future.
But many local business leaders just can't see the obvious benefits of a solar-powered Springs:
The 12 options the City Council is considering for Drake include the costs of building a replacement power source, adding renewable energy, offering demand-side management incentives and adding to Front Range natural gas plant. The best financial option is to keep Drake open for 30 years, according to the consultant's report. Utilities would see a more than $200 million return on its investment.
When Drake is decommissioned, Utilities will need to build a replacement power source, which most likely would be a gas-fired plant. Coal-fired power is produced at roughly half the cost of gas-fired power, but is dirtier.
Utilities is spending about $121 million to install scrubber technology at Drake to meet environmental standards. In June, the Obama administration released a draft of The Clean Power Plan, which calls for reducing carbon dioxide emission at power plants by 30 percent by 2030.
More than 30 coal-fired plants have closed across the county in the wake of strict Environmental Protection Agency regulations, including emission control.
As an astute politician once said, "A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you're talking real money." That observation and its ramifications here are quite clear. But, besides coal, there is also Colorado's unnatural reliance on hydraulically fractured natural gas and its "clean" fuel — that comes at such a high environmental and human cost.
No news here, but our own Gov. Hickenlooper is a giant fan of fracking. Sadly, news on that front is often troubling as our reliance on coal and our eternal slowness is moving to new energy technologies.
GREELEY, Colo. (AP) – Colorado regulators have ordered the shutdown of an oil and gas wastewater disposal well east of Greeley after seismologists detected two earthquakes in the area in less than a month.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission directed High Sierra Water Services to stop injecting water into the well after a team of University of Colorado seismologists recorded a 2.6-magnitute earthquake Monday afternoon. The team began monitoring the region after a 3.4-magnitude earthquake May 31.
GREELEY, Colo. (AP) – Authorities are investigating after a 57-year-old Greeley man collapsed and died at an oil and gas site in the tiny northern Colorado town of Gill.
Sheriff's deputies were called to the site near the intersection of Weld County roads 68 and 69 at about 11 a.m. Tuesday. John McNulty was pronounced dead at the scene.
It's long past time for Colorado to use its significant natural resources to power its not insignificant human resources. I'd bet my bottom dollar we could easily top Germany's recent record with enough wind and solar generators located in our fair state. (Maybe with wind alone, have you felt that stuff blow through here?!?!?)
But, it'll never happen with a Governor so fond of fracking, with business leaders so leery of investing, and with voters so dismissive of science and nature.
Our energy problems have been obvious for many years now. The answer to me, my friends, is blowing in the wind….