Communicating complex ideas to general audiences about why they should care about what goes on in the acronym-drunk world of the electricity industry is no mean feat, but as a new video released today underscores, this task is incredibly important if we are going to build support for a clean energy vision that can help us fight climate change.
That’s also why the Western Clean Energy Advocates’ new video about what constitutes a doable and meaningful clean energy vision for the West is so impressive. It clearly and amusingly explains how we can blend demand-side resources like energy efficiency and controlling power demand fluctuations in our Smart Grid, that when combined with large scale renewable energy and transmission upgrades, can displace dirty power in our electricity mix.
Nationwide, electric power plants are responsible for 40 percent of our climate-changing emissions, which is why the Natural Resources Defense Council’s groundbreaking proposal, Closing the Power Plant Carbon Pollution Loophole, calls for states and the federal government to partner in setting new carbon pollution standards to cut emissions from existing power plants by 26 percent by 2020.
The video is part of an effort to raise awareness on electric choices being made today. We need to do our part in the West as we look ahead to the $200 billion that will be invested over the next 20 years in electric infrastructure to replace aging facilities and meet growing energy demand in our region. When the Western Clean Energy Advocates group released its “Western Grid 2050” report to much in August 2011 with former Colorado Governor and clean energy champion Bill Ritter spearheading the release, it urged the governors of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Wyoming, Washington and Utah to adopt its Clean Energy Vision.
Since the report was issued, many of its recommendations ranging from sharing reserve energy for renewable balancing to better forecasting of when renewable energy will be available have been recognized as operational necessities for a more efficient and renewable energy friendly grid. Progress has been made on implementing many of them – such as the limited initial adoption of an Energy Imbalance Market I reported on this week – though we still need to bring them to more widespread use. To do that we need public support to demand that grid operators and regulators take the steps necessary to make it happen.
Coming on the heels of the President’s State of the Union address, in which the climate challenge was put squarely back on the national agenda, this video is a useful tool of persuasion and hope that can show people the ingredients needed to build a clean energy future. Share it with your friends, family, and colleagues. If you are a blogger, blog on it. If you are a Twitterphile, by all means tweet.
It’s just a little thing, but where communications are concerned, little things can sometimes make a big difference for our planet’s future.