Replacing old coal plants with energy efficiency
According to the ACEEE * : ” Changes in fossil fuel markets and updates to environmental regulations may result in the retirement of existing coal-fired plants, putting on the order of 40 GW of generation at risk of retirement.”
” The investments required for replacing or upgrading these plants would raise electricity rates for all customers. Customer-side investments in energy efficiency and combined heat and power can replace this capacity at a lower cost. “
This is by no mean really new as we have already discussed about such topics many times over. This just brings further evidence, which is always useful.
By keeping on hammering the message, hopefully it will get through. At least this study might bring the topic back to the surface. In any case, this is much welcome as it brings further evidence.
As The Energy Collective notes :
These customer-side investments will have the added benefit of enhancing communities by creating more efficient, modern infrastructure that can result in more jobs and a more robust economy. Achieving this level of energy efficiency investment will not be easy.
Enabling these investments will require significant changes in the utility regulatory business model to allow utilities to make customer-side investments and be allowed to earn a preferred rate of return. ACEEE will shortly release another white paper that explores the details of this changed business model.
It has often been observed that crisis and opportunity are inextricably linked, as a crisis encourages us to push the envelope of innovation and accomplish feats we didn’t think we were capable of.
The so-called “coal train wreck” may afford just such an opportunity to modernize our electric utility regulations to reflect a new century of different economic and energy markets, creating opportunities for the utility industry to define a new path to sustained profitability by selling efficiency services not just electricity, while ensuring reliable and affordable power to their customers.
If you want to learn out more, please do check out the study or the article.
* ACEEE stands for American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. A very nice name…