Golden Valley Electric is the greenest utility in the railbelt. GVEA has the capacity to generate more than 20 percent of its peak load from renewable sources.
So should the co-op add even more renewable power? Absolutely – as long as it doesn’t increase costs or decrease reliability.
Germany is shutting down its nuclear and coal power plants in an aggressive campaign to go 100% renewable by 2050. But Germany’s green power push has increased costs dramatically, according to a recent article in the New York Times:
German families are being hit by rapidly increasing electricity rates, to the point where growing numbers of them can no longer afford to pay the bill. Businesses are more and more worried that their energy costs will put them at a disadvantage to competitors in nations with lower energy costs, and some energy-intensive industries have begun to shun the country because they fear steeper costs ahead.
Adding insult to injury, Germany’s carbon emissions are on the rise.
Newly constructed offshore wind farms churn unconnected to an energy grid still in need of expansion. And despite all the costs, carbon emissions actually rose last year as reserve coal-burning plants were fired up to close gaps in energy supplies.
Fortunately, GVEA has taken a more prudent approach to green power. Our renewable energy sources are decreasing emissions – without increasing members’ bills.
Golden Valley Electric Association is always looking for reliable, low cost power sources, including renewables. But the price must be right.