|SunGen Solar Farm|
Platts tracks world-wide energy prices and issues. It is part of McGraw Hill Financial Services, and it offers a variety of subscriptions and analysis reports. Platts is known to be a premier source for energy information.
Platts covers the whole world, which means it doesn't spend a lot of time covering Vermont. But sometimes Vermont energy issues "lead the way." In that case, Platts has articles and blog posts about Vermont.
On that theme, Platts has a recent blog post about Vermont. Before nuclear opponents start their happy dance, however, ("Oh yes we led the way, we did!"), we should look at the subject of the Platts article. Guest post: Out of sight, out of mind? Vermont considers its renewables describes how people in Vermont are pushing back against renewable sprawl.
As Long As It's Not Too Severe
The blog author is John Kingston, president of McGraw Hill Financial Institute. He notes that people in Vermont support renewables in the same way that Edith Bunker supports capital punishment: "as long as it's not too severe." Local towns want more say in the siting process: they feel shut out of the conversation. (Well, the towns are shut out of the conversation. When the Public Service Board okays a project, the towns have little recourse.)
|Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara|
This won't work. I mean, Vermont may get some renewable projects built in gravel pits, but the "90% renewables mandate" in Vermont means that there simply aren't enough gravel pits. To quote the Platts post:
So like the civil New Englanders they are, everyone is agreeing to listen. But that’s not going to solve the problem. ….
The replacement for that (Vermont Yankee) power is going to need to occur with a lot of the population making Edith Bunker-like declarations about renewable energy which, as the growing disputes in Vermont show, can not take a major role in electricity generation unless it takes a major role in real estate consumption too.
I encourage you to read the comments on the Platts post. One commenter from Quebec is cynical about Hydro Quebec (HQ) secrecy. Apparently, HQ has claimed to be able to supply Vermont, Ontario and even more places. But HQ doesn't actually share much information on its excess capacity to generate electricity.
HQ is definitely looking south to new markets, and constructing new dams on the Romaine River.
Meanwhile, despite the 90% renewables mandate, Vermont is planning to remove small dams, rather than renovate them. Apparently, in Vermont, dams affect the local ecology.
In recent weeks, the Vermont legislature has been considering new energy siting rules. However, as noted above, the bottom line is that the legislature plans to Wait Till Next Year.