As the solar industry continues to mature and there is increasing focus worldwide on climate change, utility renewable energy programs are being placed under greater scrutiny. Media coverage of solar opportunities often implies a relative ease of implementation, prompting consumers to question why utility portfolios are not more aggressively pursuing the development of renewable resources. This article explores the concept of a "100% Renewable" portfolio, examining what this term means, which areas of the country are pursuing increasing levels of renewable resources, and the opportunities and challenges in increasing renewable generation within a co-op generation portfolio.
Value to Electric Cooperatives
Cooperatives may be questioned by consumers or even their directing boards about why they are not adopting a portfolio composed of 100% renewable energy resources. This can be complex to explain, leaving cooperatives vulnerable to miscommunication and negative perceptions about their portfolio management strategies and capabilities. What is meant by a "100% renewables portfolio," who is currently pursuing such efforts in the industry, and what are the related costs, are all important issues for cooperatives to understand. This helps the utility to be better positioned to answer questions and plan for the future evolution of renewables in their generation portfolios.
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