Study: 100% Renewable Energy Unrealistic at this Time

Oct 2, 2018 | Uncategorized

According to a just released study, the idea of the City of Fort Collins or Platte River Power Authority converting to 100% renewable electricity anytime soon is unrealistic.

The study was conducted on behalf of major electricity users in Northern Colorado by Energy Ventures Analysis, a DC-area energy consulting firm. In the report titled Review of Platte River Power Authority’s Zero Net Carbon Energy, EVA states “Attempting to replace Rawhide with a 100% renewable electricity supply would jeopardize reliability and significantly increase PRPA’s cost, which would be reflected in customer electric rates. The massive overbuilding of power capacity would lead to a large increase of retail power costs.”

This study also states “Cost is also a concern with a shift to 100% renewable strategy. There has been little-to-no growth in demand for electricity for the last decade. As a result, new power plants are not needed to meet demand growth. The construction of new renewable plants to replace existing fossil plants (like Rawhide) will drive up retail power prices…To achieve a 100% renewable strategy, PRPA…would have to rely on a massive over-build of excess renewables and/or unproven battery storage technology. In either case, PRPA would be incurring large costs to build new capacity to replace the Rawhide plant. These costs will be much higher than current market estimates if the federal subsidies are phased out as scheduled under current law.”

This is timely with the Fort Collins City Council considering a resolution this evening on 100% renewable energy. The Chamber’s position is this:

  • Renewables are good and the idea of 100% is worth discussing.
  • Let PRPA look at all aspects of power generation, including renewables, in its Integrated Resource Plan, which is being updated.
  • Don’t take political action i.e. pass such a resolution, until PRPA has finished its IRP.

You can find the EVA study here and the accompanying press release here. You can find a news story about the study in today’s Longmont Call Times here.