Friday, February 12, 2010

How to close half your coal plants in only 10 years.

Hang on to your teaparty hats; 2020 is just around the corner on the road to a coal-free America. Free at last!
Regional energy planners say improved efficiency, conservation, wind power and gas will help the Pacific Northwest meet electricity demand over the next 20 years without adding an extra lump of coal.
So it's unanimous: No coal; only wind, gas, efficiency.
The Northwest Power and Conservation Council unanimously adopted a regional energy plan Wednesday that avoids any new coal-fired plants for Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana through 2030.
Coal-burning power plants spew out over 80% of the GHG emissions by the region's electric power system.
Coal provides more than a fifth of the energy in a region dominated by clean hydropower from a system made up of 31 federal dams that produce electricity marketed by Bonneville, based in Portland. But Kearns noted the small scattering of coal plants in the region produces more than four-fifths of the power system's greenhouse gas pollution.
The Pacific Northwest leads the rest of the nation towards a coal-free America.
She said the council's latest plan shows "that a future without coal is not prohibitively expensive, it is not difficult for utilities to achieve and it will not jeopardize power reliability in the Northwest."
But how can 4 states cost-effectively shutdown at least half, if not more, of their coal-fired electric power plants in only 10 years, you may wonder?
The coal industry in the Pacific Northwest received a heavy blow yesterday with the release of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s (NWPCC’s) Sixth Power Plan, describing how the region encompassing Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana can cost-effectively shut down at least half its coal plants (including coal plants outside the region that supply these states with electricity) by the year 2020. Major Analysis Shows Road to a Coal-Free Northwest
re: "So coal is not going away anytime soon."

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