KIUC’s unbelievable load forecast (Part III): on sustainability

From a sustainability perspective, each KIUC decision must meet three tests.

First, is it SMART: Does it account for peak oil?

Second, is it SAFE: Does it achieve the required emissions reductions to avoid catastrophic climate change?

Third, is it FAIR: Does it promote equitable access to resources?

A quick assessment of KIUC's "GenX" proposal suggests that it only partially meets the first test, is not likely to meet the second, and major questions remain regarding the third.

Here's why. "GenX" uses fossil-fuels, so its purchase would actually move us away from oil-independence in the short run. That’s a show-stopper, right?

Yet, because GenX can also use bio-fuel, it could improve our independence...as long as there is a local source for bio-fuel.

Oh, and, there’s more to accounting for peak oil..like changed behaviors that are already helping to reduce demand, and obviate the need for GenX in the first place (see Part II) .

On the other hand, emissions from bio-fuels may not be much different from oil or coal, depending on the type of bio-fuel and how it is produced.

Moreover, equitable access to resources could actually could actually be impeded if, for example, a significant fraction of our land is taken up with bio-fuel production and costs remain high.

Get the picture? For all of these reasons, we need KIUC to go greener, sooner, cheaper.

Published by Ken on May 27th, 2009 tagged Best Practices, Energy


One Response to “KIUC’s unbelievable load forecast (Part III): on sustainability”

  1. gabriela Says:

    Right on Ken! I gave testimony to the KIUC board against purchase the gas turbine, now called GenX, last year, and I also went in to speak with Randy Hee personally about it. My plea was and is still- spend the $75 million on green, sustainable energy. The Idea that GenX will burn bio-fuel (all their turbines presently do that) doesn't fly for various reasons- emissions and ag land use among them.

    Thanks Ken for putting some data out that should convince KIUC to not even consider buying GenX now. Please get your testimony in TGI. The public needs to be educated and mobilized against this insanity.

    Lingle and Helco are leaders in the Sustainable push and make KIUC look look like a truant school boy who is also flunking out.. It's an exciting era where we need KIUC to go "Greener, Sooner,Cheaper", as you so succinctly put it.

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