Bob Geary from the Indyweek crunches some numbers for energy generation and efficiency:
In North Carolina, the institute study found, renewables could supply 40 percent of the state's electricity by 2025. Costs would be comparable to those of conventional power sources—coal, nuclear, natural gas—but with major advantages in air quality, reduced water consumption and zero "climate impacts," it said.
North Carolina could reduce electricity usage by almost one-fourth by 2025. In the next 20 years, renewables (40 percent) combined with energy-efficiency (24 percent) could account for nearly two-thirds of the state's electric-power needs.
But there is a debate amongst proponents on whether (or not) we should reopen SB3 (REPS bill) for modification.
Here's Rep. Pricey Harrison:
Duke Energy officials (but not Progress Energy) pitched the CWIP change in a recent meeting with legislative leaders and a few "legislative skeptics," says state Rep. Pricey Harrison, D-Guilford, a self-described "skeptic."
"When they were arguing for SB 3," Harrison said, "the utility lobbyists would say the CWIP provision they were after was better [for ratepayers] than the ones in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Now they're back asking for what they have in the other states."
Harrison worries that if the Legislature reopens SB 3, including the 12.5 percent target, it will have to consider the CWIP rule, too. "It's very frustrating," she adds, "because, as a veteran of these utility debates, I can tell you the utilities always win."
And Sen. Josh Stein:
State Sen. Josh Stein, D-Wake, who also attended the session with Duke Energy, said he understands Harrison's hesitance about reopening SB 3. "Whenever you have complicated and delicately negotiated legislation," Stein says, "different groups will be nervous about revisiting it."
But Stein thinks the untapped potential for renewable power and energy efficiency in North Carolina is too great not to take a fresh look. "I think positioning North Carolina for a clean-energy future is what we need to do."
After what we went through getting SB3 passed in the first place, I'm leaning towards Pricey on this. And the fact that Josh wasn't involved back then puts his opinion more in the "theory" category as opposed to the sting of reality.
Not to mention, if Republicans are as successful as they hope come November, it's likely a third thing will happen: the repeal of all or most SB3 provisions anyway.