According to the U.S. Department of Energy, demand for electricity nationally will increase by 40 percent during the next 22 years. This projection includes an optimistic reduction in electricity use due to increases in equipment efficiency.
Your electric cooperative system is planning for the future-which includes building new power plants. Unfortunately building power plants takes years and power plant construction costs have skyrocketed in recent years. The electric power we will need 6-10 years from now will come from plants that are in the very early stages of the planning process today.
While we are making good use of renewable energy resources, coal remains the backbone of electric generation for this region and the nation. Coal is the most abundant and economical generation resource. Wind has its place but it is limited by inconsistent wind speeds. Coal doesn't suffer such limitations, but is instead abundant, inexpensive and reliable.
Coal is a proven generation source that has abundant resources, demonstrated by multiple statistics:
Reliability may be coal's best quality. Coal-based generation is available 24/7. There is no fluctuation on the transmission grid with thermal generation from coal.
Technology allows batteries to be built only so big. Solar power is good when the sun is shining. Wind energy is good when the wind blows. Coal-generated electricity is generated at the same time it is used.
Providing more electricity and dealing with climate change are important challenges our country faces. Our commitment to you, as we strive to keep the lights on, will be encouraging lawmakers and regulators to seek out practical, long-term remedies to our nation's energy problems based on new technology-solutions that will allow us to continue providing safe, reliable, and affordable power in an environmentally responsible fashion.
Electric co-ops have no magic bullet to offer, only our hard work and commitment to your best interests. But as we have done for more than six decades, we will continue to put you, our members, first.
As members, our responsibility is to leave this country to the next generation better than we received it. With the cooperatives diverse generation - coal, wind, hydro, natural gas, waste heat etc. Cooperatives will continue to explore new power sources for our future needs.
We need the members to help as the U. S. Congress will soon be considering climate change legislation. Congress must find solutions that keep costs down and electricity available-while addressing climate change.
Now is the time to have conversations with your elected officials. Begin a dialogue today. Together, we can find solutions and strike the right balance.
This is a critical issue and it's important to contact your representatives www.ourenergy.coop. Here are some questions you can ask:
M - F · 8:00am - 4:30pm 25487 403rd Ave I-90 Exit 325 Mitchell, SD 57301 · 800.477.2892 · firstname.lastname@example.org