Saturday, December 3, 2011

Reduction in energy demand

Swamp Milkweed by pond
Good news, it seems we just might be making inroads into energy conservation.  An article in the StarTribune, Xcel's power pullback, indicated that Xcel Energy is realizing a reduction in demand for electricity within the state of Minnesota.  The bad news was they attribute the reduction in energy use to a bad economy.

An encouraging bit of news from this article was that the power company was tracking with the state's energy mandate that it produce 26 percent of its power through renewable sources by 2020. While the costs of renewable energy are greater up front, think of all the environmental and health benefits they provide in the long-term, which aren't typically considered in our determination of "cost".

At the national level the Obama administration is looking to back off of proposed rules to reduce toxic air emissions from industrial boilers and incinerators. An article, New proposal eases some requirements on boilers but preserves health benefits, describes this recommendation to appease corporate interests.  Often it seems progress is made by taking two steps forward and one backward.

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