Renewable Energy

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HEAL Utah has a number of campaigns aimed at cleaning up our state’s fossil fuel heavy energy mix: our True Blue Sky campaign highlights Rocky Mountain Power’s dependence on dirty coal power, the eUtah Project studied renewable resources statewide and identified how Utah could be power by 100% renewables, and our Community Energy Choice campaign is a multi-year effort to make clean energy accessible to all Utahns.

Much of the rest of America is already well on its way to embracing renewables and energy efficiency. No fantasy there, just the reality of the 21st Century that Utah – and our elected officials – need to wake up and start acknowledging.

Along with growth in natural gas, the gap left by coal’s decline has been met by a sharp rise in renewables. More than 37 percent of new U.S. electricity in 2013 came from renewable energy sources, according to federal data. Our other neighbors are also proving that moving away from carbon polluting energy sources is possible. Let’s look at federal data from earlier this year on where our power comes from in the Mountain West. In Idaho, 23 percent of the electricity generated comes from renewables. In Colorado, 19 percent. Wyoming, 11 percent. Utah? 3.8 percent. A sad reality in a state blessed with bountiful wind, solar and geothermal resources.

Investing in renewable energy and energy efficient technologies will help clean our air, help our families stay healthy, and limit the toll of climate change. In addition, it can propel Utah into the ever-growing clean energy economy that our neighbors are taking advantage of.

Utah’s leaders must stop fighting the tide of shifting energy policies and put Utah on a path to embrace them. States across America are already moving away from coal power, and their electricity remains reliable and affordable.

Here in Utah, where we are blessed with abundant land and wind and solar resources, the sad truth is that our utility is even more dependent on polluting fossil fuels than the typical American one.

Despite a logo featuring wind towers, the awards their Blue Sky Program receives, and the many ways they repeatedly tout their alleged commitment to renewable energy, Rocky Mountain Power simply does not sell much renewably generated electricity to Utahns. It’s a company that is good at seeming green – without being so. Check out our True Blue Sky page for more!

According to the company’s own data in its planning documents filed with the state of Utah, the mix of electricity that Rocky Mountain Power sells its customers today is 65 percent coal, 10 percent natural gas, 7 percent hydro, 8 percent market purchases (nearly all natural gas power it buys during peak demand times) and a grand total of around 10 percent renewables, nearly all of that wind.

Another way to crunch our electricity mix is even more unfavorable to Rocky Mountain Power. If you look at power made here in Utah – which includes not just our main utility’s facilities, but some others’ as well – Utah has the worst record in the West. Just 3.8 percent of the power made in Utah comes from wind, solar and geothermal, according to federal data. That’s way behind Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada and Mexico. In the states that border Utah, 11 to 23 percent of the generated electricity comes from renewables.

HEAL is working hard to convince Utah’s elected officials and our dominant utility to embrace renewables. However, we need your help to be successful. Click here to sign up for action alerts and get involved!


Recent Posts about Renewable Energy…

Spring Events & An Update!

It’s springtime in Utah, and you never know what you’re gonna get! Sun, rain, snow, or an EnergySolutions proposal to bring Depleted Uranium into our state....

ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN...... That's why the HEAL Utah staff is always on alert. Do you want to be informed and involved? Below you’ll find some upcoming events we hope you’ll attend with us, like anEarth Day clean-up, "Do Good Feel Good" Kick-off, and our Annual Spring Breakfast with a special guest host!

HEAL is excited to be putting together some pretty cool events that will bring us right into the summer! You’ll see us collaborating with Mark Miller Subaru on a number of activities in coming months to educate more and more Utahns about our important work and how we can reduce our vehicle emissions and clean the air. We hope you'll join us on one, or all, of these occasions (events posted below).

Additionally, we wanted to fill you in on our campaign work. As you'll see in our updates below - the legislative session may have ended, but there is always more to do in our beloved state and we're tackling issues and keeping our eyes & ears open. From clean air to renewable energy and hazardous waste work, HEAL is staying up to date, analyzing in-depth policy documents, strategizing methods for bringing more renewables online, and building coalitions with the great groups around Utah. Scroll down to look a little more closely what's up our sleeves.

As always, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out.

With Regards,

-Hannah Whitney | Development Director

Spring Breakfast: Utah’s Changing Climate

Join us for an exciting twist on our 15th Annual Spring Breakfast to jumpstart your Thursday morning (May 17, 7:00-9:00am) and get energized to stand behind HEAL during the challenging campaigns ahead. Doug Fabrizio of Radio West will engage in a conversation with three remarkable female legislators about the evolving perceptions of air quality, climate change and energy use in Utah.

RSVP Here »

Do Good Feel Good Kickoff at Mountain West Cider

Our partners at Mark Miller Subaru like to do good, and we know you do too! In honor of their 11th year raising money for nonprofits like HEAL, we invite you to join us in celebrating this Do Good Feel Good event, Tuesday, May 1, 5:30-7:00pm. Enjoy light refreshments, beverages and learn about how HEAL can benefit from people purchasing Subaru’s during the month of May! Registration required.

RSVP Here »


Dimple Dell Park Earth Day Cleanup

We recognize Earth Day EVERY DAY by working hard to clean the air, promote renewable energy and protect Utah from nuclear and toxic threats. Help us celebrate Earth Day by cleaning up Dimple Dell Regional Park with the HEAL staff, starting at the Wrangler Trailhead on Saturday, April 21, 9:30am-noon. Please read all volunteer instructions and RSVP HERE so we can report our group size to the event organizers.

More Info Here »


Here's a quick update on HEAL's other campaigns.

CLEAN ENERGY & CLIMATE CHANGE

◘ Assess how Utah can more rapidly transition from coal to renewable electricity generationwhile benefiting ratepayers, utility companies, coal-dependent communities and, most importantly, the global climate.

◘ Monitor the implementation andimpacts of the recent rooftop solar settlement.

◘ Develop specific climate change criteria and principles to evaluate how Utah’s public policies align with the Concurrent Resolution On Environmental And Economic Stewardship (HCR 007) passed in 2018 by the Utah Legislature.

HAZARDOUS WASTE

◘ Closely monitor and actively oppose EnergySolutions’ permit request to begin importing long-lived radioactive waste (known as depleted uranium) into Utah for disposal. Unlike the low-level Class A radioactive waste ES currently brings in, this material continues to increase in radioactivity for millions of years. 

◘ Analyze the risk, benefits and costs of the proposed Small Modular Reactor (SMR) projectbeing promoted for subscription by many of Utah’s cities and towns by the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS). If it proceeds, this would result the first use of nuclear power in Utah and result in high-level radioactive waste being stored right across the border in Idaho.

CLEAN AIR

◘ Working with legislators and other advocacy groups to lay the groundwork for a package of air quality bills for the 2019 legislative session.

◘ Conducting a review of air quality data to more precisely identify gaps in information, trends, and opportunities for improvement.

◘ Developing specific air quality criteria and smart growth principles to use in evaluating major development proposals, such as the prison site in Draper and the Inland Port. 

Read more...

NEWS: Salt Lake City rises above many other American cities for solar energy

Ashley Imlay
Deseret News
April 6th, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY — A national environment organization says Salt Lake City is a rising star in solar energy development, as Utah's capital city has seen the number of completed projects grow from dozens in 2007 to hundreds in 2017.

On Wednesday, Environment America ranked the city No. 10 among its "Solar Stars" in terms of megawatts of solar energy used per capita last year compared to 70 other U.S. cities.

"Solar is booming," said Tyler Poulson, sustainability program manager for the city.

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NEWS: Utah solar industry hopes new government regulations will bring order to the sector’s frenzied growth

Emma Penrod
Salt Lake Tribune
March 28th, 2018

Utah is one of the fastest-growing markets in the U.S. for rooftop solar, which is why industry advocates say they’re glad the state Legislature has begun to impose regulations on their businesses.

According to a recent trade-association report by The Solar Foundation, Utah’s solar companies grew by 40 percent in 2017 — the largest jump of any state in the U.S. More than 6,000 Utahns now work in the industry, which is expected to continue growing in coming years.

Solar advocates said they were also happy to see that Utah lawmakers agreed during the recently concluded session on Capitol Hill to extend a system of state tax credits for residential solar installations. The industry believes those tax breaks for homeowners will continue to spur growth in demand for rooftop arrays.

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