Oregon to embrace renewable energy more aggressively

March 4, 2015 0 By Erin Kilgore
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Oregon may be coal-free in the coming years, if new legislations take hold

Oregon may soon ditch coal as an energy source. The state is part of the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy, which involves supporting renewable energy as a primary power source and reducing the emissions that states produce every year. Currently, 33% of Oregon’s energy comes from coal, which typically comes from out-of-state sources. Two new legislations aims to further reduce the state’s coal consumption and promote the use of renewable energy.

Legislation aims to reduce the use of out-of-state coal as an energy source

The first legislation aims prohibit utilities from delivering energy derived from coal to consumers. Instead, these utilities will have to deliver electricity from local resources, 90% of which must be produced through sustainable sources. This is expected to significantly reduce the carbon emissions that Oregon is responsible for, helping the state move closer to its sustainability and environmental goals. The legislation is also likely to promote renewable energy sources, making them more attractive investments for the private sector.

Utilities warn that ditching coal could lead to higher energy prices

Oregon - Renewable EnergyThe state’s utilities, which are investor owned, claim that cutting the use of out-of-state coal could lead to a significant increase in energy bills. Consumers may end up paying more for the electrical power they consumer because renewable energy is generally more expensive than coal. A transition period may be in order, wherein utilities reduce their consumption of coal over a period of time, while working to distribute renewable energy efficiently and in an inexpensive manner.

Politics could sideline renewable energy efforts

Politics can sometimes slow the adoption of clean power. There are many factors involved in supporting renewable energy that are not often considered by those that are not in the political spectrum. These issues can sometimes leave clean energy plans by the wayside, until the political climate is conducive to their success in the future. Politics is part of the reason why fossil-fuels remain so prominent in the United States, though these forms of energy are also somewhat less expensive than renewable power sources.