Renewable Energy


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…

LTE: Kudos to our power companies, who are pursuing cleaner energy

Jerri L Hurley
Salt Lake Tribune
March 5th, 2018

Kermit Heid’s letter (“Not emmission free,” Feb. 21) stated that electric cars are really not emission-free, since our electricity comes from coal burned at 30 percent efficiency. With solar panels, we’ve been able to drive our Leaf 16,000 emission-free miles in the Salt Lake Valley.

I was appalled to think that the rest of our electricity might come solely from coal, but was pleasantly surprised to learn that Murray City Power relies on coal for just 50 percent of its electricity. Hydroelectric sources account for 25 percent, and renewable landfill makes up 12 percent of Murray’s power. This method captures methane gas that is a byproduct of our garbage at two local landfills, and converts it into electricity.


Read the full letter here


NEWS: Utah's ‘incredible’ rise in solar power may just be the start of a decadeslong surge, industry experts say

Emma Penrod
Salt Lake Tribune
March 1st, 2018

Thanks to a meteoric growth in panel installations in recent years, Utah is now one of the top states for solar power generation — but industry experts don’t expect the surge to end any time soon.

According to an analysis by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), large-scale solar developments produced 5 percent of all the electricity generated in the state in 2017. Residential rooftop solar accounted for another 1.5 percent of the state’s generation in that same time period, said Amanda Levin, a climate and energy advocate with the environmental group.

Utah is still catching up to other large energy-producing states in terms of total solar output. But as a percentage of total generation capacity, the state now draws a greater share of its power from the sun than all but three other U.S. states: California, Nevada and Vermont.


Read the full article here


OP-ED: Clearing the air — 3 myths about going green

Suzanne Harrison
Deseret News
March 12th, 2018

The Deseret News recently interviewed me for a story on my family’s decision to embrace clean energy products, including an electric vehicle, EV home charger and solar panels. As I read the comments on the article and on social media, I noticed several of them mirrored my prior misperceptions about “going clean” that I held before doing some research.

In an effort to clear the air, I wanted to share three of the biggest misconceptions I had before my family invested in clean energy.


Read the full article here



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *