|Over the past few days, I've run across several articles which really should be must-read for anyone involved in formulating and/or implementing energy policy in Virginia. That includes, of course, Dominion Power, which basically gets whatever it has bought and paid for. It also includes the similarly bought-and-paid for (by fossil fuel interests) State Corporation Commission (SCC), Virginia General Assembly and Gov. McAuliffe (who in recent months has been wildly wrong on at least two important energy/environmental issues facing Virginia).First, I strongly recommend that all of the above read New York Just Showed Every Other State How to Do Solar Right. The gist of this article is that New York is getting serious about promoting clean energy and changing the existing, dysfunctional model for utilities in the Empire State. Check out the following excerpts, and keep in mind that there's absolutely no good reason why any of this couldn't, or shouldn't, be done in Virginia.|
Under a new order from [New York's] Public Service Commission, utility companies will soon be barred from owning "distributed" power systems-that means rooftop solar, small wind turbines, and basically anything else that isn't a big power plant...The move is part of a larger package of energy reforms in the state, aimed at setting up the kind of futuristic power system that experts think will be needed to combat global warming. The first step came in 2007, when the state adopted "decoupling," a market design in which a utility's revenue is based not on how much power it sells, but on how many customers it serves...Now, under New York's most recent reform, a utility's revenue will instead be based on how efficiently and effectively it distributes power, so-called "performance-based rates." This, finally, provides the incentive utilities need to make decisions that jibe with the state's climate goals, because it will be to their advantage to make use of distributed energy systems...So far, the response from utilities has been receptive...The change in New York could become a model for other states..."Everyone is watching to see what's happening here...It's really a model of what a utility could be in the future."Just think about why Virginia hasn't adopted serious "decoupling," "net metering," Renewable Portfolio Standards, and other crucial policy measures. The short answer is simple: large amounts of money utterly corrupting our politiical system, "capturing" the very legislative and regulatory bodies that aresupposed to be in charge, but which de facto have ceded that authority to powerful corporate interests such as Dominion Power. This SHOULD Be an utterly unacceptable situation to every single Virginian, with people literally protesting in the streets to change it. Of course, the folks at Dominion, etc. are counting on Virginians NOT doing just that, and so far their bet's been paying off -- for them, not for us.
Must-Read Articles for Dominion, the SCC, Gov. McAuliffe, Virginia General Assembly
Sunday, March 8, 2015
Posted by Lowell at 12:02 PM