Keene is one of 133 American cities committed to meeting 100 percent of energy needs with renewables.

Fossil fuels are dangerous, dirty, and expensive. They draw America into needless wars and are changing the climate. Sinking money into fossil fuels today is senseless. Increasingly, cities and states are initiating lawsuits against fossil fuel companies for their complicity in harming human health and welfare and 50 percent of Americans support the lawsuits.

Our future is a society based entirely on renewable or clean (including “nuclear”) energy. Renewables like solar need to be coupled with batteries to store energy that we need at night. This is not expensive. A “power plant” comprising solar cells and batteries is now cheaper than a power plant run on natural gas or coal. Moreover, a new power plant comprising solar and storage is cheaper than an old coal plant! And that is simply looking at the cost of the electricity, not including the unwanted costs that come along with coal: air pollution, mountaintop removal, climate change, coal ash dumps, mercury emissions and so on.

If you are concerned about the high cost of electricity in New Hampshire, why not support renewable energy? If you wonder if this is possible, check out what is going on across the country. The City of Los Angeles just agreed to an historic contract to purchase 400 MW of electricity for 3 cents a kilowatt hour from a new solar and battery-storage power plant. That’s far cheaper than electricity made with fossil fuels. In western Oklahoma, NextEra energy just got a contract for 700 MW of wind, solar and storage for the western Oklahoma Farmers’ Cooperative. These are not left-wing hippies, but sensible Midwestern farmers. Renewables are out-competing fossil fuels in Oklahoma, one of the biggest oil and gas producing states! Energy economics is undergoing a radical transformation as we speak.

Here in Keene, we purchase our electricity from Seabrook and natural gas generators in New Hampshire and other parts of New England. But we could be generating solar power here in Keene, thereby lowering the costs we pay for electricity transmission. Liberty Utilities wants to heat our homes with gas from Pennsylvania. We should be reaping the benefits of new clean-energy technologies, not increasing our dependency on a failing industry. There is no technical or economic reason that we cannot have clean electricity, clean electric cars and clean electric heat here in Keene.


Keene State College

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