11 April 2011

The Iron Law, Even in Boulder

The Boulder Daily Camera today has an article about Boulder's efforts to add more renewable energy to its electricity mix.  The reason is not simply about burnishing Boulder's green credentials:
Initially, the grassroots advocacy that pushed the City Council to let its franchise agreement with Xcel expire came from Boulder residents who wanted the city's electricity to come from more renewable sources, such as wind and solar. Part of the pressure also came from the very real possibility that Boulder would not be able to meet its own goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions without changing where the city gets its energy from.

But Jonathan Koehn, the city's regional sustainability coordinator, said adding more renewables is only part of the equation.

"We've heard a lot of concern that, perhaps, more clean energy is driving this analysis," he said. "But this is about long-term economic stability. When we talk about what our portfolio might look like in the future, we don't have a predetermined notion of a certain percentage of renewables. What we want is to be able to analyze how we can have long-term stable rates."

But adding renewable generation -- the price of which is not at the whim of highly fluctuating fuel costs -- is one way to make rates more stable, Koehn said.