Poster child town for renewable energy changes it mind

Chuck DeVore writes at Fox:

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Georgetown, Texas – population 75,000 – was to be the new poster child of the green movement. …

Environmental interest in Georgetown’s big push to generate all of its electricity from wind and solar power was amplified by three factors: the town and its mayor were nominally Republican; Georgetown is in an oil- and natural gas-rich state; and that state is deep-red Texas.

So what happened?

Georgetown’s electric bills went up as more wind and solar power displaced cheaper natural gas in the power portfolio of the Georgetown’s municipal utility. Politicians scrambled for cover. And the bloom came off Georgetown’s renewable rose.
Now, largely embarrassed members of the City Council are trying to figure out how to unwind the renewable mess they and their predecessors voted themselves into.
With their municipal utility facing a $7 million shortfall – money that has to be made up by the city residents through higher electricity costs – the City Council voted 5-1 in July to instruct the staff to figure out how to wriggle out of the Bloomberg PR deal.
On Aug. 13 the Council voted 5-0 to officially kill the deal. The city is also raising property taxes.

What are the economics of 100% renewable?

In Georgetown’s case, for it to truly go 100 percent using today’s state-of-the-art mass-produced batteries from Tesla’s Gigafactory, the city would need a $400 million battery farm weighing some 20,000 tons to avoid a blackout on a quiet winter night. And, after spending $15,600 for each household to build such a battery farm, its backup power would be drained in 12 hours, with a second windless winter night leaving residents shivering in the dark.

That’s a big battery farm. The weight would be twice the weight of the Eiffel Tower.

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