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In search of a path to clean energy in KY July 27, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "In search of a path to clean energy in KY July 27, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 In search of a path to clean energy in KY July 27, 2013

2 Once, that was an advantage. But the world has changed. Now the cost of coal- fired power is rising sharply due to the cost of fuel, construction and pollution. 93% of Kentucky’s electricity comes from burning coal.

3 Cheap rates ≠ low bills Historically, KY’s dependence on coal meant cheap rates, but relatively high bills. Why? We under-invest in energy saving. We have poor quality housing stock. We have not prioritized efficiency through public policies. Average kilowatt hours used by a customer in one year Residential Energy Intensity (Source: Energy Information Administration, 2007)


5 All of our eggs are in one basket… Kentucky’s per capita carbon footprint is 50% bigger than US average. KY has the most energy intensive economy (or least energy efficient economy). KY rate-payers – residents, businesses, industry, schools, nonprofits – are uniquely vulnerable to rising costs of coal fired power. Meanwhile, the world around us is changing fast….

6 What about the cost of clean energy? \ Levelized Cost ($/MWh) : 2009-2012 Timeframe Renewable Energy Conventiona l $119 - 194 $65 - 110 $30-70 $50 - 100 Existing Gas* New Gas Combined Cycle Wind Solar Thermal Solar PV Source: Lazard, June 2010 and 2010 Deutsche Bank Report Energy Efficiency Coal (before upgrades) Coal (after upgrades)** New Coal $98 - 154 $0-50 $40-60 $60-90 $63-161 *Assumes gas costing between $4-6 **Does not include upgrades from cooling towers or coal ash pond controls

7 So what is KY’s potential for clean energy solutions?

8 Energy Efficiency = Low Hanging Fruit

9 For biggest energy savings: weatherize Basic weatherization can reduce a home’s energy use by 15-18%. The amount of money you save will grow each year as the cost of energy rises.

10 Refrigeration: another household energy hog An old fridge can gobble up as much energy in a year as the average KY house uses in a month! Replacing your old fridge with an energy star model can save $75 a year at 2009 energy prices.

11 How do Kentucky’s Energy Efficiency efforts stack up?

12 What’s the potential for renewable energy in KY?. December 2010 Study of Renewable Energy Resources in US South: The South can generate 15-30% of its electricity from renewables over next 20 years with 25% renewable requirement in place. At the end of 20 years, average electricity rates in the South would be LOWER than business as usual projections. Renewable potential more than doubles with new wind maps, new hydro maps, and inclusion of small scale (distributed) systems. A 2012 report by Downstream Strategies estimated KY could generate 34% of our electricity from “distributed renewables” by 2025.

13 What do we know about KY’s wind potential? 3 years ago, data showed that KY could develop 34-60 MW of utility scale wind. New wind maps show 48,000 MW of utility scale wind (between 25% and 30% capacity factor at 100 meters).


15 887 MEGAWATTS POTENTIAL AT EXISTING DAMS What do we know about KY’s hydro-power potential?? Adding this would more than double Ky’s current hydro generation!

16 What can we say about solar PV potential in KY? Combined with an energy efficient home, rooftop solar panels can provide most or all of the annual electricity needs for a home in KY. The upfront costs are significant, but dropping rapidly.




20 Solar is among fastest growing industries in the US

21 What can we say about biomass potential in KY? KY has significant biomass and biofuels resources. There are ecological concerns.

22 Questions? Thoughts? What is it going to take?

23 The bottom line: public policy matters

24 KY is in danger of being left behind EIA data, from Washington Post


26 Our proposal: The Kentucky Clean Energy Opportunity Act 1. Ask utilities to meet a growing share of their energy needs from energy efficiency programs and renewable energy. (This is called a renewable and efficiency portfolio standard.) 2. Expand in-state renewable energy production by paying customers for the renewable energy they supply to the grid. (This is called a feed-in tariff).

27 The goals start small, end reasonable *

28 How would Kentuckians benefit? Over ten years, this bill would: Create 28,000 net new jobs Lower bills by average of 8-10% Add $1.5 billion to KY economy * Access Potential Impacts of REPS in Kentucky report at

29 Beyond the Clean Energy Opportunity Act, other good steps include: Raise the limit on size of renewable energy systems that can be net-metered Allow 3 rd party ownership of renewable energy systems Establish revolving loan funds to help schools, businesses, local governments, & homeowners pay upfront costs of energy efficiency upgrades Direct Public Service Commission to prioritize efficiency & consider future costs and risks, not just “least cost” (in the present moment) when approving utility plans

30 What will it take to make meaningful progress? What role can informed, concerned citizens play? ç

31 Actions we can take together Continue to learn together Identify ways to reduce and shift our own energy use Meet with our legislators Meet with our rural coop Write letters to editor Explore and develop community-based solutions Attend Co-op public forum on renewables: Sept 19 th in Danville

32 What do we want to learn more about? Climate change / climate policy Strategies to promote clean energy solutions at a local level Do it yourself energy efficiency Understanding the roles of public decision-makers (legislature, Attorney General, Public Service Commission) in stalling or promoting clean energy solutions. Strategies to promote clean energy within our rural co-op Communicating effectively about clean energy solutions & policies Understanding the opportunities and barriers to solar energy in KY (a deeper look at best practices, programs and policies) Health implications of our current energy landscape Strategies for making energy efficiency & renewables more accessible everyday people Other!

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