19 May '11, 7pm

Cost of adding tons of renewables to U.S. electric grid has been almost zero, say studies:

Many states have "renewable portfolio standards" mandating that they produce a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable sources. Libertarian and tea bag-ish critics of these standards have said that they will cause electricity rates to "skyrocket." But the numbers are in, and guess what? Science says the critics are wrong. Utility companies’ experiences vary a bit, but on the whole energy costs are barely being nudged by renewable standards. In fact, far from being a financial drain, wind power is the most economic option in some places, such as the portion of the Dakotas and western Minnesota served by Otter Tail Power. In the worst case scenario, Great River Energy of Minnesota and Wisconsin saw a 1.8 percent increase in rates, or about $18 per year for its average customer. But on the flip side, Xcel energy, which serves many Western states, projects a per...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/list/2011-05-19-cost-of-adding-tons-...

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