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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Denier weirdness with greenpower offer

Sou | 9:43 PM Go to the first of 20 comments. Add a comment
This is weird (odd). Anthony Watts says he got an offer from his electricity company to buy renewable energy, at a small premium (archived here). The weird thing is not that he scoffed at the offer, that is to be expected from a dim denier. No, the weird thing is that it seems that Anthony has never heard of such a product before.

I don't know about where you live, but where I live I've worked with electricity distributors who've offered this as an option for more than twenty years. (I just checked my records and one of my clients was preparing to launch a "green energy" option back in 1991/92. It might have taken a couple of years before the company that bought them offered it, but that's still twenty years ago or more.) Now as far as I know, the option is offered by most electricity resellers here in Australia - for example Red Energy, Origin, and AGL all offer "green" options.

I used to think Australia was behind the USA when it comes to new ideas. It could be that we've been decades ahead of California in this regard. Electricity is much more expensive here in Australia than it is in the USA, where it seems to be practically given away for free, although I understand the price varies from one state to the next. Maybe that's why, if no-one has offered greenpower there before it's because electricity was so cheap that a "green" product wasn't considered viable.


Money money money...


Anthony explained also how he's got solar panels. He made it abundantly clear that it's not because he gives a damn about the environment. He doesn't. In fact the purpose of his blog WUWT is largely to urge his readers to rape and pillage nature. He's been an activist for planetary destruction for more than seven years now.  The reason Anthony got solar panels was so that he could save some money, and so that he could make money off his readers - seriously - see here. He's shameless.


Does your electricity reseller offer a "green" option?


I'm curious to know from people in other parts of the world. Are you able to purchase renewable electricity or "green" offsets?

I can't be bothered looking through the 164 thoughts underneath Anthony's mock shock, so this article will stay short, sweet and as green as your electricity :)

20 comments:

  1. The real denier weirdness is that Willard has just posted a rather matter of fact report about a study that describes how ice sheets are eroded from below. Of course it doesn't stop the nutter comentariat going into full denier mode. The poor chap just can't win!

    R the Anon

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  2. Green electricity was introduced in The Netherlands in the beginning of the 90ies. We also have it in Germany for at least 15 years.

    Interesting how much Anthony Watts pays for electricity. On sunny days 20 dollar a day. In Germany I pay only 30 euro per month for green electricity.

    Mitigation skeptics like to complain about the energy prices in Europe. But what a household actually pays per month is about the same. I prefer living in a well insulated comfortable high-quality home.

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  3. I'm in central New York in the US. I couldn't say exactly how long a "green premium option" has been available through the major utilities (e.g. NYSEG) but it has been more than 10 years. As you say, much of this varies state to state and by utility company, but I have a hard time believing that California wasn't an early adopter for this practice. To be fair, with the deregulation of utilities decades ago, it's possible that Anthony's getting service from a utility which has not offered the option until recently.

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  4. Here in Maryland USA, we have a number of green electricity options. I have been using one sourced from wind for a couple years now. Of course what it means in detail is they purchase enough renewable certificates to retire the amount of electric power I use over the year. It's maybe slightly more expensive than just buying the power straight from the local power company, but by less than the monthly variation in price, so it's no problem for me.

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  5. PG&E allowed green energy providers in 99-01 when I lived in CA. The premium was a bit large then, but I used so little energy I regret not taking them up on the offer.

    Duquesne Light had the same setup when I got to Pittsburgh. Again I failed to do it :(

    In both cases it wasn't the power company itself offering it, it was a separate company. You'd buy power from the main power company and they'd buy it from the green generator (my own electrons would be from whatever the grid brought me).

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    Replies
    1. I don't know Hydro-Quebec offers green power deals -- they're already almost all hydro, and they buy a bit of wind from wind producers (private companies because the liberals set it up, so the public sector has to pay more).

      Delete
  6. So Watts doesn't agree with capitalism. Isn't it a common argument that "Something is worth what someone is willing to pay for it"?

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    Replies
    1. Or you could say:
      "There's one born every minute".
      Paying extra to burnish your green credentials? What a waste of cash.

      Delete
    2. ...whereas 'paying extra' to help ensure your grandchildren's posterity...

      Delete
  7. I lived in California 20 years ago and was purchasing green energy at the time. I don't know about PG&E these days because the whole thing went away when the electricity market went all to hell in 2000/2001. I would imagine the mix in that part of the state is fairly green already with a high percentage of hydro from Shasta Dam and the Feather River project.

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    Replies
    1. I currently live in a PG&E service area and am looking to sign up for the program. I don't know how PG&E's hydro mix stands at present, but I do know that hydro across the state is down over 50% since the 2011 peak according to the USEIA. According to same, the fastest growing renewable in CA is solar and we're the first state with utility-scale solar achieving 5% of ALL generation inside our borders.

      Delete
  8. I live in rural mountains of Colorado. The metro area (Denver) is served by Xcel energy - a public for-profit company which has committed to produce a percentage of its electricity from renuables, has a program where more of your electricity will come from renuewbles, and encourages homeowners to install solar etc. My electricity provider is Intermountain Rural Electric Association (IREA) - a coop - which doesn't provide a renewable program and is actually hostile to them and fights homeowners who want to install solar. A few years ago, IREA hired none other than Fred Singer as a consultant so their hostility to solar is not suprising.

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  9. here in Ontario we have the Microfit program http://microfit.powerauthority.on.ca/ to encourage new personal solar installations. It pays higher kwh than On Hydro charges and most people I'm talking to are looking at a 5 to 10 year return on their investment. I'm off grid so no help that way for me

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  10. The local provider in Fellbach (southern Germany) where I live has offered electricity from renewable energy for many years. Since 2008, this has been sourced from 100% hydro power bought from power plants located at the Rhine (until 2011) or in the Swiss Alps (2012). This "eco-power" is a bit more expensive than conventionally sourced electricity and you have the option to upgrade to a "plus" version where you pay a small premium on top which then goes into a kind of fund. Once a meaningful amount of money has been collected, we (the customers going for this option) can make suggestions and help decide for which project(s) this should be used. Over the years, projects like installing solar panels on schools or stand-alone buildings used by conservation groups have been financed from it.

    Our utility does more stuff to cut down carbon emissions and I published a blog post on Skeptical Science about their efforts a while ago:
    http://skepticalscience.com/Mitigation-Mosaic-Small-Steps-do-make-a-Difference.html

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  11. The world has passed Anthony by, as he keeps reminding us.

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  12. Green Mountain power in Vt has offered "moo" energy that I assume is from waste product methane.
    Since nuclear plant shut down most of Vermont electricity is from hydro

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  13. Sou,

    Nicely done as usual. Classic example of Anthony being so knee-jerk reactive that he doesn't see his own blatant double-standard: he was quite happy to reap the benefits of tax incentives for his own on-site installations to save himself some cash, but thinks people who would be willing to voluntarily spend more for the same electricity with the aim of expanding renewable generation across the entire grid is idiocy.

    Clearly, his so-called brain lives mostly in his own pocket book. Credit where due, some of his regulars have pushed back on him for it.

    Not unlike many other large investor-owned utilities, PG&E has a history of opposing renewable energy initiatives which would tend to cut into their top-line revenues. This program makes sense to me from their perspective, I'm still trying to work out whether it makes sense from mine, but leaning toward doing it.

    I've written up a few of my own notes with links to further local background and history.

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  14. Like DCR I have Excel energy but in Wisconsin (run by the horrible Walker right now, Ive been on the Wind Energy plan for the last 3 years and I believe they just offered up a solar one as well.

    Brian

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  15. In the UK there are several green power alternatives. I've been with Ecotricity for ten years now and we sell our solar PV back to them through a scheme called 'Microtricity'.

    In fact the amount I export compared with the amount we import—bearing in mind that we're 'all-electric'—means that we make a net £100pa out of our electricity connection. Contributory factors to this are the high levels of insulation and the solar thermal panels we also have on our roof, which reduces the electricity required for heating our hot water.

    ReplyDelete

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