by Russell Grantham
ATLANTA 2/13/16 — Renewable fuels are poised to grow from a footnote into a small but meaningful part of the picture at Georgia’s biggest electric utility.
By 2020 solar, wind, biomass and hydro will account for 10 percent of Georgia Power’s fuel mix, according to a new long-term plan the company recently filed with state regulators. That’s up from about 7 percent this year, or just 2 percent not counting hydro. In 2005, non-hydro renewables were not even counted in the mix.
Critics say the pace is still too slow. And at least one questions the utility’s overall goal of boosting its capacity buffer — the extra juice it could generate during a severe heat wave or power outages — at a time when demand has been flattened by slower economic growth and better efficiency.
By Darren Goode
12/2/13 — Can conservatives and environmentalists get along again?
Activists around the country are giving it a try.
In Appalachia, greens are banding together with the Tennessee Conservative Union to oppose mountaintop mining. In Georgia, the Sierra Club and Atlanta’s tea party have formed a Green Tea Coalition that is demanding a bigger role for solar power in the state’s energy market. Elsewhere, veterans of the George W. Bush administration are working with the Environmental Defense Fund on market-based ideas for protecting endangered species.
It’s not yet a broad national trend, and may not be enough to begin dampening Washington’s bitter left-right split over President Barack Obama’s environmental policies. But some activists — particularly outside the Beltway — see potential for the kinds of coalitions that used to get big things done, back in the days when Theodore Roosevelt was creating national parks and George H.W. Bush’s administration was taking on acid rain.
by Chris Martin
11/27/13 – Here’s a riddle to vex the Washington political class: When do Tea Party Republicans stand together with Sierra Club environmentalists?
The answer lies in their support for solar energy. The Green Tea Coalition, a Georgia-based group, is reviving a Republican Party link with the Sierra Club that dates back more than a century to President Theodore Roosevelt. Their goal is to reignite support for environmental conservation and fight traditional utilities’ market power by pushing alternative energy sources, especially solar power. “Some people have called this an unholy alliance,” says Debbie Dooley, a co-founder of both the coalition and the Atlanta Tea Party Patriots. “We agree on the need to develop clean energy, but not much else.”
In recent years, Dooley organized protests of what she calls Georgia Power’s (SO) stranglehold on its customers. She was especially rankled in 2009 after the company, the state’s largest utility, added a monthly surcharge to customer bills to finance the development of two nuclear reactors south of Augusta. In 2012, Dooley was approached by the local chapter of the Sierra Club about joining forces to lobby Georgia’s Public Service Commission to require Georgia Power to buy more solar power.