Thursday, August 10, 2023

Xcel, Gas, Beans

A vague media release invites people to a press event at City Hall Friday at 11 a.m. where the Mayor will, "sign an agreement with Xcel Energy-Wisconsin President Karl Hoesly to further support shared clean energy goals through customer programs, economic development and technology."

What does this mean?

On the plus side, Xcel has made a commitment to reduce net carbon emissions to zero by 2050 (those these utility pledges have been called into question). They offer a Renewable-Connect program which let's people pay more for (cheaper) renewable energy.

But, Xcel is also planning to build ten new fossil gas-powered generating plants at Wheaton near Eau Claire.

We know that in 2022, Xcel's net profit was $1.74 billion. In Minnesota recently, Public Utility Commissioners decided that their ratepayers should not have to pay for excessive executive compensation

As climate conscious communities ban new natural gas for home heating, in Colorado, Xcel is rolling out a "clean heat" program that will mix hydrogen with gas to reduce emissions from burning (but not from producing where much of the damage, from methane release, occurs) and slow the shift to heat pumps which can be run on renewably-generated electricity.

Then, there's Xcel's trash burning plant which generates electricity by burning garbage, including lots of fossil fuel-derived plastic, which produces air pollution

If you want to atted, do, but be aware of the background.

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