Monday, October 6, 2008

Securing a Greener Future for Kentucky


By Doug Doerrfeld

Sweden recently set on a path to become the world’s first “oil-free economy” within 15 years by replacing all fossil fuels with renewables. As a result, entrepreneurs rushed to develop new ways of generating energy from the wind, sun and tides, from wood chips, agricultural waste, and garbage. Economic growth rates climbed. We learned that when nations "decarbonizes," their economies reap immediate rewards.

In recent weeks we’ve heard significant announcements in solar breakthroughs, from gigantic generating plants to new ways to store solar energy. We are on the threshold of the day when nearly every Kentucky home and business could be generating electricity and hot water.

With technology changing so fast, with renewable energy poised to deliver significant levels of power on a cost-competitive basis, Gov. Steve Beshear was right to ask the Energy Cabinet to develop a new comprehensive energy plan. Though Kentucky’s current plan is just a few years old, it relies heavily on coal and does more to reinforce old power (both energy production and the politically entrenched) than to transform our economy.

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