Utah needs to rethink the conversation about our energy future.

By Oliver Townsend Jul 2, 2024
Opinion: Utah is having the wrong conversation about our energy future.jpegOrginal image from: https://www.deseret.com/opinion/2024/07/02/utah-clean-energy-electricity-coal-power-emissions/

Utah is at a crossroads when it comes to embracing clean energy options for the future. The recent legislative session saw a shift towards maintaining coal-fired power plants, a move that goes against the tide of progress towards cleaner energy sources. This article discusses the need for Utah to change its energy strategy and transition towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly path. Embracing clean energy not only benefits the environment but also positions Utah to thrive in a rapidly changing energy landscape.

The Importance of Embracing Clean Energy

Utah has much to gain from transitioning to a clean energy economy. However, recent decisions by the Utah Legislature and Rocky Mountain Power indicate a commitment to outdated energy sources like coal. This approach not only hinders progress towards a cleaner future but also puts Utah at a competitive disadvantage. It’s essential for Utah to shift its energy policy towards embracing cleaner and more sustainable options to secure a prosperous future for the state.

A Path to a Clean Electricity Supply

Moving towards a zero-emissions electricity supply by 2035 is crucial for Utah to create a climate-safe energy system. Embracing a mix of solar, wind, geothermal, energy storage, and other zero-emissions technologies can help Utah achieve this goal affordably and reliably. While some policymakers advocate for delaying zero emissions in favor of new nuclear technologies, the focus should be on deploying existing clean energy resources to diversify electricity supplies and reduce emissions.

The Role of Clean Dispatchable Technologies

Utah has the opportunity to lead in the development of clean dispatchable technologies that can provide power when renewable sources are not available. Technologies like enhanced geothermal, low-emissions hydrogen, and gas with carbon capture and sequestration offer promising solutions to ensure a reliable and clean electricity system. By investing in a diverse portfolio of clean dispatchable resources, Utah can secure its energy future while reducing emissions and costs.

Utah’s Opportunity to Lead

With abundant clean energy resources waiting to be tapped, Utah is in a prime position to become a leader in the clean energy sector. Supporting projects like enhanced geothermal and low-emissions hydrogen through tax credits and favorable regulations can drive innovation and economic growth in the state. By prioritizing clean energy development, Utah can uphold its legacy as an energy leader in the West and create new opportunities for growth and sustainability.

Conclusion

Utah’s energy future hinges on its ability to embrace clean energy options and transition towards a sustainable and environmentally friendly path. By moving towards a zero-emissions electricity supply, investing in clean dispatchable technologies, and leveraging its untapped clean energy resources, Utah can position itself as a leader in the clean energy sector. It’s time for Utah to shift its energy policy towards a cleaner, more sustainable future to ensure prosperity for generations to come.

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