Going Green

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

California Energy Zoning

Transmission capabilities is one issue that many folks overlook when discussing new electricity generation projects such as wind farms, wave farms, and solar. That type of infrastructure is usually highly regulated and frequently built at taxpayer expense.

September 19, 2007

California Partnership to Examine Transmission for Renewable Energy

A partnership of public and private entities has been established in California to examine the feasibility of building transmission lines to remote renewable energy resources. The Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative (RETI), announced by the California Energy Commission (CEC) on September 17th, will identify major renewable energy zones throughout the state and will create a prioritized list of needed transmission lines. RETI includes representatives from the CEC, the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Independent System Operator, and representatives of publicly owned utilities. The group's first public forum will be held on September 20th. See the CEC press release and the RETI Web site.

"...major renewable energy zones..." -- California also needs to look at agricultureal zones, industrial zones, development zones, conservation zones, etc. Energy isn't their only issue. Water is becoming super critical. California would be a prime candidate for statewide zoning. Such a plan could potentially alleviate current a future infrastructure problems. Intelligent design could cut energy use, pollution from automobile emissions, runoff and erosion problems due to roads and parking, traffic congestion, urban sprawl into agricultural areas, and on and on. I would prefer a free-market approach, but California is already one of the most "socialized" states in the Union. A regulated model may be their best solution.

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