What about renewables? They’re expensive. Would we be switching to all renewables? When would we get renewables? How much?
• The municipal utility would not switch to all renewables right away. The generation mix would include electricity from natural gas as well as from wind and solar, increasing the proportion of renewables as they make economic sense. (We would use gas as a transition fuel and could find the cleanest source of gas energy,) Preliminary modeling suggests that we could get 39% renewables and 68% CO2 reduction almost immediately while remaining cost competitive.
• Electricity from natural gas produces less CO2 per kilowatt-hour than electricity from coal, so our carbon footprint would be reduced as soon as we switched from Xcel’s generation mix.
• With a backup of natural gas, renewables could be added fairly easily to our generation mix as they become increasingly economical and available.
How much could we cut our CO2 emissions?
• Preliminary modeling by citizen experts suggests that a municipal utility could achieve 50% CO2 reduction and 39% renewables initially while not exceeding Xcel Energy’s current cost for its mix of only 18% renewables