Alan Tweddle is an engineer and entrepreneur based in Charleston. In a recent op ed in the Charleston Daily Mail, he made the case for rebuilding WV’s economy using renewable energy, particularly solar power.
Mr. Tweddle provides clear and specific examples of why we need to shift our economy to solar power:
And if you don’t like my statement that coal fired power is too expensive, then I suggest you look very carefully at the Province of Ontario, Canada.
Ontario studied why they were experiencing very excessive health-care costs in the air shadows of the coal-fired power plants. After two years of study, they determined that if they shut those plants down and replaced them with renewable energy systems, they would save money in the provincial budget, lowering the costs of electric power and health care, and increasing the health of the local people.
Ontario determined in 2005 that renewable energy is less costly than coal-fired power, so they completed their transition to shutting down all coal-fired power plants last year.
Legislators should visit with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change (How’s that for a cabinet level title?). While there, I could arrange to see a remarkable development in concentrated photovoltaic cells that has brought the price of electric power from solar energy down to 5 cents per KWH. Currently John Amos, I am told by AEP executives, is running at 6 cents per KWH. This same company, Morgan Solar, has a next generation of CPV cells that will generate at 3 cents per KWH.