The Short Leap from Progressive Energy Plans to Dictatorship

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Pause a moment and imagine what the plan for net-zero emissions proposed by the Rhode Island Progressive Democrats of America actually means:

The plan for Cranston is to power the city with a combination of sources. Thirty percent of homes would be fitted with rooftop solar arrays while commercial, industrial and town-owned sites would have ground-mounted, rooftop or canopy systems. Vertical wind turbines — smaller and narrower than the conventional three-bladed ones — would also go up in parts of the city.

Batteries would store energy for when it’s needed and the power would be distributed on a modernized grid. Finally, aggressive energy-efficiency programs would accelerate upgrades in lighting and heating and cooling as well as insulation improvements in homes and buildings. The plan would avoid developing green space.

Around one out of every three houses in the city would have to have rooftop solar, in addition to businesses and government buildings.  These wind turbine things would be all over the place.  Somewhere, somehow, the city would house and maintain giant batteries.  Oh, and the government would embark on an “aggressive” campaign to force property owners to upgrade their electrical systems, their heating and cooling systems, and their insulation.  (One suspects that’s not the extent of the new impositions.)

All of this in a state where even managing to “modernize” our energy grid would be a miracle of public policy, given political and economic realities.

In short, this is not a serious proposal.  It’s somewhere between an ideological fantasy promoted to push people away from their sense of liberty and a green-energy-industry sales pitch to an overly credulous population.



  • Rhett Hardwick

    There seems to be absolutely no thought given to “cost”. Batteries? The only place I have heard of this working at all is Scandinavia. Solar power is used to pump water “up” to reservoirs. At night, it is used to produce hydro-electric power when flowing back down.

    • Makaha Ken

      Rhett Hardwick, Hawaii was the first state in nation to declare by state law a complete changeover to 100% renewable energy by year 2045. Currently the 11,000 total sq mi. of Hawaii is nearing its goal of 30% renewable by year 2020 with some individual islands in the 40% and 50% renewable range. Tesla’s SolarCity battery backup and prudent grid modernization by the various Hawaiian electric companies plays an important role. There are no offshore expensive wind farms in Hawaii. My monthly electric bill at 34 cents per kWh is only $50 due to increased renewable energy and electric company and Hawaii PUC is showing population how to drop it to $17.50 per month.

      The island of Ta’u in American Samoa now 100% renewable energy boasts a solar microgrid from Tesla’s SolarCity.: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2017/02/tau-american-samoa-solar-power-microgrid-tesla-solarcity/

      Glenwood Springs, Colo. will join six other cities that are already running on 100 percent renewable energy. The cities include Aspen, Colo.; Burlington, Vt.; Georgetown, Texas; Greensburg, Kansas; Rock Port, Mo.; and Kodiak Island, Alaska, according to the Sierra Club.

      • Rhett Hardwick

        Hard for me to believe that the islands could not harness power from the volcanoes at considerably less cost.

        • Guest

          Rhett Hardwick, the live active volcano is only on one island, the Big Islland of Hawaii and a geothermal 30 MW electric power plant was built and operational but late last year it had to be shut down due to the eruption and lava flow covering access road and flowing up to power plant fence line.

  • Makaha Ken

    Justin,
    I finally got a chance to read an article about this Democratic Progressive proposed endeavor to make the City of Cranston, RI a model 100% renewable energy powered city. These people making the proposal have no idea or technical knowledge of what they are proposing and actually it would be detrimental to the health, safety and well-being of the National Grid electric grid in my technical estimation never mind the cost which would be imposed on the individual residents and taxpayers of Cranston and the number of years it would take. This is a pie in the sky proposal. 

    City of Cranston is about 28 sq. mi. with a population of about 81,000 located about in the center of RI with electricity provided by United Kingdom based National Grid which has driven electric rates in U.K. to all time highs because their operssting model is for profit cooperate stock holders and investors.

    I have watched the State of Hawaii over the last 12 years work with the U.S. Department of Energy per direction from President George Bush (R) to increase self-sustainability by replacing imported oil with renewable alternate energy not only to shrink its carbon footprint but also become a model to other 49 states. Hawaii is the nation’s realtime renewable alternate energy live testing ground mainly because each island has different infrastructures but also they are not inter connected to each other so you can test realtime under normal realtime electrical loads and not impact other states. Documentation is tremendous and if it deals with renewable alternate energy starting in 1960s to today, laws were changed as well as Hawaii PUC requirements to embrace and integrate the technology. 

    Hawaii has been used by the U.S. Department of Energy, various major electrical companies testing electrical components for smart grids and international engineers, scientists and digital security experts on smart grids interactions realtime on a energized active public electrical grid. The electric companies located in Hawaii have changed with help from Hawaii PUC have their operating mode from sole source model to a distrubited resource model plus have been upgrading and modernizing the grid so electric power flows both ways on the grid.

    The largest and most complex significant test completed in Hawaii over 2 years was for the first time in history world-wide (according to U.S.Department of Energy) is a electric company tested how much fluctuating intermittent renewable alternate energy can be allowed on a legacy electric power grid before the grid shuts down in protective mode due to cconsistent fluctuations. Seems no electric utility ever tested that but yet all sorts of companies are selling products to add to your residence to connect to the grid.

    Currently there are now three ocean based under water/floating very low profile or land based operating alternate clean renewable energy systems designed and operating (two are in Hawaii) that provide baseline stable consistent electrical power equivalent to what is normally provided by standard electrical utility companies. Wind turbines and photovoltaic panels are fluctuating intermittent power which are bridge technologies requiring batteries to smooth out power fluctuations and provide backup when not producing power.

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