Alternative Energy

Alternative Energy

Alternative energy news, and information about renewable energy technologies.

Jul 09

Los Angeles to Stop Using Coal by 2020

Posted in Energy Industry | Energy Politics | Future Technology

Coal Power Plant The mayor of Los Angeles declared that from 2020 onwards Los Angeles will completely eliminate the use of power generated by burning coal and go for alternative energy sources such as wind and sun. In his inaugural speech for his second four-year term as mayor he said, “LADWP will deliver 40 percent renewable power, with the remainder coming from natural gas, nuclear, and large hydroelectric.”

LADWP stands for Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and it is the largest city-owned utility in the United States with 1.45 million electricity customers. The department has already been taking strides towards a cleaner energy usage during Villaraigosa’s first term. While renewable energy made up only three percent of LA’s power supply in 2005, as of July last year the figure was 8.5% and the city is on track to have 20% by 2010.

Although California does not have power plants that use coal, 40% of its current energy demand is being met by coal-fired power plants located out of the state. Based on 1990 levels LAWDWP aims to cut its carbon emission by up to 60% by 2020.

“We applaud Mayor Villaraigosa’s bold decision to move Los Angeles beyond coal,” said Bruce Nilles, director of the Sierra Club’s efforts to end coal-fired power plants. “The decision to replace coal with cleaner energy alternatives is key to boosting job creation and economic growth.”

Along with reducing carbon emissions the city also plans to reduce the use of power by 1% every year for the next 10 years. This will be achieved not by using less power but using the available power efficiently.

The non-coal-generated power is going to be a bit more expensive and will go beyond the current benchmark of 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. But this is a very small price to pay to keep the planet cleaner and healthier for present and future generations.

  • Loppy Garrard

    Good, if the west is to cut carbon emissions by 80% , like the G8 said today, we have to invest in energy that doesn’t make carbon emissions. Come on Gordon Brown! You cant agree to these cuts and still let Kingsnorth & more airport expansion go ahead.

  • Marlip Indo Mandiri

    Good news… better air of course by 2020, hope’s alternative energy prepared something from now to run that challenge.

  • Jos Conil

    A good initiative in the right direction indeed!. Hats off to the mayor.

    Hope this trend catches on and other states and nations follow this model.

  • Suhas

    Hope the US is not planning to finish all coal of the globe by that time, so that LA can implement their plans, even though coal is available!

  • Suhas

    Good move. But better to assess the effective quantity of coal (and petroleum) required to be burnt for making those many solar cells and wind turbines! I am not kidding. Making only devices for capturing Solar and wind power but not keeping energy consumption is not going to solve the problem. We need to keep the energy consumption at present level, if we can not reduce it. Otherwise, allowing energy consumption to increase and shifting towards renewable energy sources, will only mean, consuming coal and petroleum of future, now.

  • Francisco A Roque

    They need to try to do it in 2 years, they need to try to burn hydrogen in a safe manner, 2 years is more than enough time to do it.

  • MS

    Just wondering:

    How does making consumers pay higher prices cause economic growth?

    Also – how does laying off workers at coal-powered plants create more jobs?
    Do the solar and wind jobs hire more people than are layed off?

  • Hendrik

    It would be even greater to the world if every city does so by the end of 2012. But its a good start though. If Los Angeles can do it, I am sure that many other big cities should be able to do so too. It’s just whether we want to or not.

    Thumbs Up To Los Angeles.

  • David

    The state of California is going to rebuild 40 percent of its energy infrastructure in 10 years? With its present financial condition that will echo for years? With millions of proposed electric cars coming on line, pushing up the power requirements? Um, no way, no how.

    A couple of points to ponder before you cheer too loudly:

    Each wind generator with 3kW of generating power requires about 500 pounds of rare earths to manufacture the permanent magnets, and this material is held in virtual monopoly by CHINA. The steel tower alone (200 feet tall, 20 feet diameter, huge steel piles driven to bedrock) requires tons of steel. The only efficient rolling mills are located in CHINA. You will need at least 3000 of these towers. Where will they be built?

    Wind and solar systems need to be backed up 100 percent by conventional generating plants because neither of these systems are constant, nor without downtime.

    There is zero hydrogen infrastructure. You cannot just pump hydrogen into a car tank and expect it to be as reliable as gasoline. A full tank of hydrogen will evaporate through the tightest membranes within three days.

    How are you going to convince the NIMBY types to allow huge unsightly installations in their neighborhoods or off the coast? The Supreme Court has ruled that eminent domaine can proceed in these cases, but you cannot stop people from resenting or hating the administration that destroyed their views, neighborhoods, and natural beauty.

    Finally, remember a few years ago when Enron cornered the market on energy and the result was rolling blackouts? Welcome to the future.

  • Mel Espadilla

    A good way to go green and reduce carbon emissions however changes to a different technology and equipments could be very expensive! How about looking for ways to change COAL period! I’m sure by now there are newer burning, better, effective with less emissions and less expensive substitutes for COAL!

  • mackenzie.brown

    Yes this is great and I will be more excited when I see the mayor put a lot of pressure and money behind this goal.

    But I will also be a whole lot happier when more cities make statements like these and then follow up on them.

    We should all be actively striving for a clean energy future- we simply have no choice.

  • Ed

    this is in response to david’s comment that hydrogen cannot be stored more than 3 days. a normal oxygen bottle used in welding can store hydrogen for over 30 years. a person discovered this a few years ago after analyzing the gas in a bottle he found in a old shut down welding shop

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