We are at an energy crossroads.
Coal was the energy of the past. It was wonderful for advancing human civilization, but it’s time to move past coal, just like we did with whale oil and typewriters.
Renewable energy prices have come down 65-85 percent in the past 10 years, much faster than expected, and many utilities have been quick to act and take advantage.
Tri-State, the wholesale co-op we purchase our electricity from, is deeply indebted in coal-fired generation assets and shows no sign of cleaning up its act. Tri-State’s current energy mix is 30 percent renewable via purchases, but the majority of its capacity and energy come from a fleet of five coal-fired power plants built between 1959 and 2006, reported Rocky Mountain Institute on Aug. 23.
Placing our future with an aging power generation system could be a sinking ship and a failure to take advantage of this economic opportunity. RMI reported continued reliance on coal-fired energy could result in future Tri-State rate increases by 30-60 percent.
Coal-fired energy is also the dirtiest form of energy generation, contributing heavily to our growing layer of greenhouse gasses. Our local energy rates affect our families, our community and our economic sustainability.
Let’s look to a new horizon of cost-saving cleaner renewable power.