The Utility of the Future? Austin Energy's Strategic Plan

November 10 2008 / by joelg
Category: Economics   Year: 2008   Rating: 3

By Joel Greenberg

WHAT’S HAPPENING

Austin Energy, the electricity company owned by the city of Austin, TX, , is asking for public input into their strategic planning process for power generation through 2020. The question they’re trying to answer is, “What should be the right mix of technologies for generating electricity? How much of energy over the next 10-12 years should come from coal, nuclear, natural gas, solar, wind, biomass, etc.?”

Austin City Council has given Austin Energy two goals: - 30% renewables by 2020, including 100 MW of solar. - Lower carbon emissions—all NEW power generation should be carbon-neutral, however, City Council provided no other goals for lowering green house gas emissions.

Austin Energy estimates that the city will be short by 627 MW in 2020 if current growth trends continue. The gap can be reduced to 238 MW if conversation efforts are stepped up. Either way, Austin Energy will need to be generating more electricity in 10 years, but how?

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT TO THE FUTURE OF ENERGY?

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