Op-ed by Thomas Webler, Keene State College Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
The Keene City Council is considering a resolution that says by the year 2030, all electricity must come from renewable sources. This is realistic and sensible from a consumer’s perspective. If anything, the timetable may be too slow.
Lazard Inc. is a financial advisory firm that produces an annual report on electricity costs by fuel. In 2018 it reported that the cheapest way to generate electricity in the USA is with wind. Solar is a little higher and about the same price as the cheapest natural gas units. All other fuels are more expensive, with nuclear being among the most expensive.
Utilities across the country are closing coal and nuclear power plants and embracing wind and solar. Recently, the Northern Indiana Public Service Co., which supplies electricity to an area that includes many large industrial firms, announced it would close most of its coal plants by 2023 and all by 2028. Instead, it will rely on wind, solar, and batteries. This is a business decision by a utility that has been wedded to coal for the past 60-plus years. There is nothing ideological about it. The company calculated it will save ratepayers $4 billion in 10 years.
The resolution being considered by Keene City Council would send a signal to Eversource that New Hampshire expects, like the rest of the country, to reap the benefits of low-cost renewable energy.
The city wants to hear from you!
Call your council representative or attend the upcoming City Council meeting:
Call your City Council representative (Choose your ward for representative names and contact info).
A show of the support will let the City Council know we are ready for renewable energy in Keene!