Renewable power will cost consumers more
David R. Baker, Chronicle Staff Writer
Saturday, June 13, 2009
California's push for renewable power could prove costly to consumers.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to get one-third of the state's electricity from renewable sources by 2020 could cost $115 billion in new infrastructure, according to a report released Friday by the California Public Utilities Commission. Last year, a similar report from the commission estimated the cost at $60 billion.
That money would come from Californians' utility bills.
By 2020, the state's average price for electricity could rise as much as 28 percent above today's levels, based on current dollars. However, the report says most of that increase will happen even if the state abandons its drive to build more wind farms and solar power plants. Without adding any renewable power, prices would rise 17 percent.
That alarms consumer advocates, who have long complained about California's high electricity prices.
"The notion of California struggling under (28) percent higher prices - it's a sobering picture for the California economy," said Michael Shames, executive director of the Utility Consumers' Action Network, a watchdog group.
"This would be a bargain," said Carl Zichella, regional director for the Sierra Club. "Early actions are by far the most cost-effective, and they have the biggest bang for the buck in fighting climate change." Read More
Again, we see the Sierra Club put hard working families at the bottom of their list of things they are concerned about. Advocating for higher prices for electricity is an elitist view point, especially when so many families are struggling to pay their bills already. I doubt the Sierra Club has ever looked into how this would affect young families since that isn’t their concern. A reasonable balance needs to be struck in situations like this.