Insomnia Log

This is what keeps me awake at night???

Who needs sleep? (well you’re never gonna get it)
Who needs sleep? (tell me what’s that for)
Who needs sleep? (be happy with what you’re getting,
There’s a guy who’s been awake since the second world war)

-- words and music by Steven Page & Ed Robertson

Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States

Everything you need to know about me can be found in my posts

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Take our Time with Energy Decision

Two weeks ago I wrote about Xcel's proposal to provide Boulder with lots of wind energy. I said that Xcel would be able to count that wind energy towards its legislated mandate to provide 30 percent of its Colorado electricity as renewable or recycled energy.

I received a couple of emails from folks who told me I was wrong. Xcel would sell the renewable energy credits associated with the new wind energy to Boulder, and Boulder would get the RECs.

However, the Colorado statute that mandates utilities to provide a minimum percentage via renewable and recycled energy doesn't mention RECs. It just says that the utility has to generate or cause to be generated the energy.

The Public Utility Commission rules that implemented that law say that a utility will use RECs to meet the mandate, but they don`t seem to say that RECs are the only way to meet the mandate.

Confused? According to Xcel, the interpretation of this requirement doesn't matter. They say that they`ve already gotten enough renewable energy lined up to meet the mandate without Boulder, and to meet it early. Whether or not they are allowed to count the Boulder wind toward the 30 percent, they are not planning on doing so.

They don't need us.


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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Zero net carbons

Xcel Energy has finally outlined a proposal to City Council for a new franchise agreement that looks like it meets the goals for Boulder's energy future. I'm not convinced.

It's actually quite slick, a virtual game of three-card Monte. Who uses the renewable energy? Who pays for it? Who gets credit for it?

Xcel already provides renewable energy. They have to by law. Under their Boulder proposal, they won't have to provide a single kilowatt-hour more. Xcel claims that this wind power generation capacity will be built specifically for Boulder, but that is disingenuous. It will still count against Xcel's statewide renewable energy mandate.

They think they've found a mark for their con game. Boulder citizens want more renewable energy, and Xcel management is betting we'll willingly spend more to get it. They've also used the classic con strategy of telling us the deal is off the table if we don`t agree by November.

With Xcel's offer we'd be getting the same renewable energy that Xcel already has to generate, but we'll be on the hook to pay for it while everyone else in Colorado will get a price break.


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