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HomeOpinionCan Utah lead on renewable power? | Opinion

Can Utah lead on renewable power? | Opinion

With a brand new yr upon us and a tumultuous nationwide midterm election behind us, we will flip our consideration to an pressing bipartisan situation: making a sustained and truthful nationwide power transition that addresses the dangers of local weather change, improves nationwide safety and stabilizes power prices for Utah households. Utah is in a chief place to harness the fast adjustments in world power markets and new federal assets for the good thing about all Utah communities and companies.

Let’s get to work!

Utahns, notably our elected leaders, ought to embrace a chance mindset about local weather options and our power transition. We dwell in a proud power state with great information and plentiful clear power assets. We perceive the uncertainty about this transition, particularly amongst our power communities which have powered Utah for over a century. However our state can and must be main, not following, in making a twenty first century power financial system. With good coverage and planning, we will preserve the dependable and inexpensive energy we’ve got come to count on whereas remaining an power powerhouse within the West. 

Right here’s how Utah policymakers and enterprise leaders can form the power transition for the nice of our state.

Work throughout social gathering traces to hurry up clear power initiatives

Main declines in the price of renewables coupled with rising world demand for clear power have made it clear that the world is crusing in direction of a clear power future. Utah can’t afford to overlook the boat.

Nonetheless, there stay obstacles that Utah leaders will help overcome, thereby setting the stage to unlock extra of our personal clear power assets. The truth is that we have to construct clear power initiatives quicker. We additionally want to make sure impacted communities have a voice within the course of. The “Utah Means” is understood for locating pragmatic, compassionate responses to only a majority of these difficult issues. Conservatives and progressives should work collectively to search out compromises for good siting and allowing, creating sustainable provide chains, and giving rural and frontline communities a good say in how and the place we construct new power infrastructure.

Embrace new federal assets

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Regulation and the Inflation Discount Act provide unprecedented investments in emissions-reducing applied sciences. Utah leaders can ensure that our tax {dollars} are put to work for the state.

We’re already seeing early outcomes: the Division of Power has issued a mortgage for a serious clear hydrogen mission in Delta Utah, two Utah college districts (Tintic and Uintah) have been awarded grants from the EPA for brand new electrical college buses, funding for a community of freeway electrical car chargers is on its approach, and there are tens of millions of {dollars} out there for retrofitting our houses and buildings to enhance power effectivity. 

However we’ve solely scratched the floor of the alternatives forward. State and native leaders play a central function in leveraging these assets for our companies and communities.

Make the power transition work for all communities

The worldwide power transition is a once-in-a-generation alternative for wealth creation and expert labor improvement. However we have to be conscious that impacted communities have a seat on the desk on this new power financial system.

That begins by serving to our rural and tribal power communities benefit from new federal tax credit which are designed to draw new clear power and manufacturing services. With their information and infrastructure, this shouldn’t be a tricky promote. A good transition additionally means serving to low-income communities get the complete good thing about power financial savings alternatives, from power effectivity to rooftop photo voltaic to zero-emissions buses. Power effectivity measures, for instance, provide monetary and well being advantages to low-income communities. And clear power jobs should provide a dwelling wage to domesticate the gifted workforce we have to construct the brand new power financial system.

There will definitely be rising pains in our power transition. However the world is forging forward to a brand new power period that can defend our local weather, clear our air and create a greater life for us all. Utah’s secret sauce of exhausting work and ingenuity means we will lead our nation within the clear power transition. Our future is at stake. Let’s forge a legacy all Utahns might be happy with.

Josh Craft is the federal government and company relations supervisor at Utah Clear Power. Logan Mitchell is the local weather scientist and power analyst at Utah Clear Power.

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