Business gets clarity on Gov. Kitzhaber's energy plan

Margi Hoffmann, Gov. John Kitzhaber's energy adviser, addressed concerns that the draft of the state's 10-year energy plan left the renewable energy industry out shivering in the cold.

Margi Hoffmann, Gov. John Kitzhaber's energy adviser, addressed concerns that the draft of the state's 10-year energy plan left the renewable energy industry out shivering in the cold. 

A standing-room-only crowd gained new insights Wednesday morning into Gov. John Kitzhaber’s Draft Ten Year Energy Action Plan, mobbing a downtown conference room for a round-table talk with Margi Hoffmann, the governor’s energy policy adviser.

Hoffmann articulated the fine points behind the draft strategy at a breakfast hosted by the Northwest Environmental Business Council. She spoke with a crowd of renewable energy developers, utility representatives, energy storage executives, green building professionals and others.

"We wanted to select focus areas for the next 10 years but not just have this pie in the sky, where in 10 years we have this magical world where we've hit net zero," said Hoffmann, describing the plan's goals. "We want to focus on measurable, achievable goals."

The goals, she added, can be revised every two years.

The talk left some of the roughly 85 people in the room mopping their brows, chiefly those in the renewable energy sector who, before today, saw no clear sign that the governor’s plan would bolster renewable energy development.

The draft plan, released earlier this month, took more than 100 recommendations from expert committees, and in recent months, organized them around energy efficiency, clean energy infrastructure and transportation goals. Its authors are accepting comments until July 31.

Before this week, when Hoffmann was set to appear at a series of public events to discuss the results, few details of the plan’s fine points were known. Topping concerns for renewable energy developers is that the draft plan aims for 100 percent of new electricity load growth to come from energy efficiency measures, such as projects at state-owned buildings.

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