We’ve gone over from baby steps – supplementing the electrical grid – to powering an entire 300,000 people with renewable energy. It’s not happening yet but it’s in the works: by summer, the people of Cincinnati could be having this type of energy coming into their homes without paying extra.
It’s a big change, since coal makes for 85% of the local electricity. The officials are going about this the old way: by relying on their legal right to demand lower prices for natural gas and electricity, they want to strike up a power aggregation deal with the region’s providers.
More precisely, they have demanded quotes showing the cheapest and cleanest electricity available. This way, the administration affords to be picky about which suppliers are cleanest.
The move enjoys a lot of public support from the community: nobody wants to die because of coal pollution, be it in the form of a heart or an asthma attack. So almost 100 people recently rallied at a public hearing in support, while Greenpeace also drew attention to the problem by flying a “Cleaner is Cheaper” blimp over the city.
According to Larry Falkin, director of the city’s office of environment quality, this is one of those chances that you have to grab; otherwise it may be years before another one comes your way. Don’t forget, this is an attempt to have it both ways – clean and cheap, and city officials also have the possibility of working another deal out: opt for the cheapest electricity option or a completely renewable one. Whichever way it goes, Cincinnati will become greener by this summer.
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