100% green power. What could go wrong?

No major disaster, the town is still connected to the Texas grid so the lights never actually went out. Expensive but!

Political leaders in a college town in central Texas won wide praise from former Vice President Al Gore and the larger Green Movement when they decided to go “100 percent renewable” seven years ago. Now, however, they are on the defensive over electricity costs that have their residents paying more than $1,000 per household in higher electricity charges over the last four years.

That’s right – $1,219 per household in higher electricity costs for the 71,000 residents of Georgetown, Texas, all thanks to the decision of its Republican mayor, Dale Ross, to launch a bold plan to shift the city’s municipal utility to 100 percent renewable power in 2012 when he was on the city council.

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14 Responses to 100% green power. What could go wrong?

  1. Mother Lode

    Can you imagine what kind of a twisted mind would actually value receiving the approval of Al Gore?

    I can’t.

  2. Bruce of Newcastle

    The ACT Government intends to have 100% renewable energy by 2020.
    Which is less than a year away.

    Can we get AEMO to turn off the interconnectors to the ACT at midnight on 31 December 2019 please?

  3. Ben

    It’s more to do with their long term PPA and dropping electricity prices than actual renewables, plus a levy for poles and wires, but the main thrust for me is that electricity prices seem to be falling in the US because of natural gas.

    Here’s a link to a local rag…

    https://communityimpact.com/austin/georgetown/city-county/2018/12/10/georgetown-will-renegotiate-renewable-contracts-after-energy-price-drop-costs-city-6-84-million/

  4. RobK

    The article starts off well.
    Political leaders in a college town in central Texas” 
    A college town is generally highly planned, regimented, subsidised and has lower than average energy demand along with higher than average infrastructure standards.
    “won wide praise from former Vice President Al Gore and the larger Green Movement 
    This reinforces left leaning uneconomic thinking unhinged from the real world.
    “when they decided to go “100 percent renewable” seven years ago.”
    This demonstrates the unhinged thinking. What is technically possible is often not economically viable. A lot of technology doesn’t scale up well without extra support. Renewables are a good example.
    The rest of the article, unfortunately, loses some punch, I think, and could have hit harder.
    “$1000 over 4years” is wishy-washy. The scheme would have had every US subsidy going for it since it is a town of professional troughers. Admittedly, it made a valid point regarding long term agreements with other professional troughers in the RE business but the article didn’t capitalize on that. All in all, the full impact of the stupidity of RE is still to hit this privileged town, largely protected from harsh reality.

  5. RobK

    Ben,
    I agree, Georgetown speculated on long term RE contracts with third parties and has come unstuck.

  6. RobK

    …..there are times when Georgetown draws traditional fossil fuel power from the Texas grid, making the city’s “100 percent renewable” claim nothing more than spurious sloganeering.
    100% RE is prohibitively expensive, thats the point.

  7. Terry

    What is “Green” power?

    Is it the misnomer applied to Windmills and Solar Panels?

    How “green” is a bird-mincer or fauna-fryer?

    How “green” are those rare-earth metals needed to provide (or sometimes provide, only when it feels like it) completely unreliable power?

  8. Eyrie

    I’m surprised the mayor hasn’t been tarred, feathered and run out of town on a rail.

  9. Rafe Champion

    The mayor was not available for comment.

  10. I’m surprised the mayor hasn’t been tarred, feathered and run out of town on a rail.

    Mangling that old IBM quote: ‘No one ever got fired for implementing green energy.’

  11. RobK

    From Ben’s link:

    While Georgetown officials have said that since April 2017 the city has been “powered by 100 percent renewable based on the state’s system of accounting for renewable power based on renewable energy credits,” about 20 percent of Georgetown’s energy purchases come from a producer of natural gas power, which is nonrenewable, through a contract that expires in 2021.


    That’s not 100% RE, it’s 80% at best not counting other offsets in their contracts where they are selling excess RE. Accounting smoke and mirrors.

  12. gbees

    100% renewable isn’t 100% renewable unless you are disconnected from the fossil fuel supplied grid.

  13. Leo G

    On the other hand, green power is very kind to some people.
    For instance, since John Gummer became head of the UK Government’s Committee on Climate Change, his family company has earned more than 15 times as much as his £40,000 official salary- from ‘green’ businesses and lobby groups which benefited from his committee’s policies.

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