Utilities need to change to promote renewable energy

Ron Binz cited a study saying with existing technology, efficiency and renewables could meet 80 percent of the nation’s demand for electricity by 2050.
Kathleen Lavine | Business Journal

Ron Binz cited a study saying with existing technology, efficiency and renewables could meet 80 percent of the nation’s demand for electricity by 2050.

Utilities play a key role in developing the markets for renewable energy and energy efficiency, Ron Binz, senior policy adviser for Colorado's Center for the New Energy Economy, told a conference in Charlotte, N.C., last week.

Binz -- formerly chairman of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission -- was keynote speaker at the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association conference.

The Center for the New Energy Economy, based at Colorado State University, is headed by former Gov. Bill Ritter.

Binz told the conference that utilities must adopt a new business model and governments must adopt a new regulatory model, and that those must recognize the new market.

He said utilities face the prospect of losing sales "rooftop by rooftop" as solar power costs continue to decline. With decreasing cost for renewable energy and greater potential for energy efficiency, the current model of increasing profits by increasing sales will be seriously undermined.

Read more in the Denver Business Journal.

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