Austin Texas - where the once-booming green energy demand has disappeared. Image credit:Localism.com
This is a good news - bad news tale. Start with the good. Falling natural gas prices have been major factor in utilities scrapping plans to build new coal fired electricity capacity. It buys some breathing room for the earth. Now the bad news: falling natural gas prices, coupled with demand-driven price increases for wind and solar power are making green energy less competitive. Yipes, it's a draw.
The Austin Statesman tells the story of what has happened to the City's Green Choice Program in: Austin's clean energy program costing more, selling less.
For the past decade, Austin's ambition to become the world's clean-energy capital has been best exemplified by one effort: GreenChoice, a program that sells electricity generated entirely from renewable sources such as wind.The story is complex and the interplay may be temporary. It's really worth reading the entire story at the Statesman if you are interested in the interplay of market forces and green electricity pricing.
Now the nationally renowned program is struggling to find buyers — the latest allotment is 99 percent unsold after seven months on the market — and Austin Energy is looking for ways to bring down the rising costs.