Boulder Mayor: ‘Decentralize, decarbonize and democratize energy’

Every house a power plant?

“For the past decade, the people of Boulder, Colo., have pursued an elusive goal: getting more clean energy into their grid. To do so, they pushed and prodded utility company Xcel Energy to give them a say in electricity decisions. But nothing satisfied citizens and politicians, so several years ago they organized themselves into a movement for ‘municipalization,’ in which the city would split from Xcel and become its own utility. In April, the City Council is expected to vote in favor of pursuing the controversial idea, putting coal-heavy Boulder on the vanguard of efforts to break the monopoly of corporate utility companies.” [Inside Climate News]

About these ads

6 responses to “Boulder Mayor: ‘Decentralize, decarbonize and democratize energy’

  1. This is the same Excel that was the subject of a news report a couple of months ago that the largest wind power user was re-evaluating the economics of wind? Making your energy decisions on the basis of a loud segment of a population being against something can only succeed by luck.

    There are reasons why municipalization can be a good thing. They can produce or buy at wholesale and sell it for less to their consituency. But there are ways for that model to run astray. They can produce energy more expensively, they can spend a lot of money on unused equipment because it is too expensive and still buy from Excel, and/or they can see it as a cash cow and make it a money maker for the municipality. I saw the latter happen when a new liberal administration took over in a municipality that had provided cost reductions to all its tax paying public including to attract business and employers. Now, it’s a source of revenue in a muncipality that is spending too much and going into debt.

  2. There are hundreds of electric co-ops across the country.

    “In April, the City Council is expected to vote in favor of pursuing the controversial idea, putting coal-heavy Boulder on the vanguard of efforts to break the monopoly of corporate utility companies.”

    Not so bold, Boulder.

  3. How many eagles is a wind turbine worth? You would be surprised what you can learn if you frequent some “skeptic” sites like this one – http://toryaardvark.com/2013/01/08/bald-eagles-nest-and-habitat-destroyed-for-wind-farm/

    Even with a 100% efficient “storage system” (impossible) and solar/wind generators 5 times as efficient as they are now (maybe when they perfect superconductivity) the math just does not support “unreliable” energy.

  4. For all their rhetoric, Boulder will wind up buying its electricity from other providers.

    . . . Who use coal and gas.

    BTW, centralizing electricity production provides massive economies of scale.

    Decarbonizing is hardly feasible. As they approach decarbonizing, price will approach infinity.

    Democratizing means, “Let’s put the mob in charge.”
    Making decisions for political reasons, and not business reasons.

  5. Of course it will work in Boulder. Just like several other cities I have lived in the municipal workers will be paid from one budget line and the electricity from another. The home owner will pay about the same, maybe even less, for his electricity, while his property taxes go up to cover the salary of the municipal electrical workers. Also provides wealth distribution – the poor have inexpensive houses and will pay less taxes and less for their electricity. The rich will absorb most of the cost of the utility workers in their higher taxes.

  6. Of the four electricity providers we have had, two were city owned and they were the worst, most unreliable sources. We have had excellent service from these “greedy private power companies” and the most reasonable prices.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s