Is It Possible to Power an Export Facility Entirely by Renewable Energy?

CascadeNewLogoBy John A. Charles, Jr.

The Portland Sustainability Commission recently recommended that the City Council approve a $500 million propane export facility proposed by Pembina Corporation. However, as part of its approval, the Commission is requiring that 100% of the electricity used at the export facility be generated by Oregon renewable energy sources.

This is an impossible standard to meet. Therefore, the Commission is actually killing the proposal while appearing to support it.

We know that the requirement is impossible because Portland has already tried it. In 2001, the City Council publicly committed that by 2010 all electricity consumed by city bureaus would come from renewable energy sources. Yet, despite great efforts, Portland never came close to meeting the goal by 2010.

Notwithstanding this failure, in 2009 the City pledged to meet the 100% goal by 2012, with a new aspiration of supplying 15% of the total electricity load from self-generated green power. By the end of 2012, the City had only reached 8% self-generation, and total green power reached just 14% of all consumption.

If Portland has consistently failed to meet the 100% goal over a 14-year period, it should not impose the same requirement on a private facility.

John A. Charles, Jr. is President and CEO at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Energy, Environment, Portland, Portland Politics | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Jack Lord God

    I am really getting sick of the emotional crowd trying to call itself the science crowd. You know what the 2010 deadline was? It was desire trumping science. The 2012 deadline? Desire and emotion trumping science, because at that point it was real clear that 100% would be impossible in three years.

    And here we go again, emotion and desire of the frothing mouthed meeting the hard reality of actual science from the crowd that is pretty much always right on these things, but invariably called unscientific boobs by the emotion based crowd – in other words business owners.

    When it comes to those with these kinds of desires we need to just tell them “that’s a great emotion you have, an thanks for sharing your feelings, why don’t you try and turn your emotions into reality on your own dime?”

  • Mangrove

    These morons would NEVER do anything on their own dime. First of all, they don’t have many dimes. Secondly, they are cheap. Thirdly, they want others to pay for their fancy, stupid, idiotic, feel good crappy ideas.
    What a bunch of losers.
    Dream on you fools.
    Hey, maybe we could use wood for the power..it is renewable.
    Idiots.

  • thevillageidiot

    We don’t need no stinkin industry here. Who needs new employers with job openings initial for construction then for operation not to mention the other port opertions that go into supporting import/export business. let them eat cake.
    With the imposition of 100% renewable energy the cost of building in portland just made the cost high enough to prevent a new business. with that kind of business friendly attitude is it little wonder business locate on the peripheral of portland instead of in portland? This is known as the unseen costs and consequences. Lower income and reduced opportunity for local residents. but nobody cares.

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