Awhile back I did an article about how the radical Colorado Energy Plan, which substitutes wind for coal, was really part of a corporate strategy by the giant utility Xcel. That is, the Plan is designed to serve Xcel, not Colorado, by beefing up Xcel’s asset base with $2.5 billion worth of new generating capacity.

Xcel’s plan was to get past 50% renewables, but now they have doubled down on that. They just announced that they plan to become 100% “emissions free” by 2050. Xcel serves eight states from Colorado to Michigan, so a lot of people should be grabbing their wallets at this point.

Of course this is all based on the bogus climate change scare, but Xcel stands to make huge profits from it. Being a regulated utility, the more they spend the more they make (and the more customers pay).

Ben Fowke, chairman, president and CEO, Xcel Energy puts it this way: “We’re accelerating our carbon reduction goals because we’re encouraged by advances in technology, motivated by customers who are asking for it and committed to working with partners to make it happen.

I doubt the customers asking for it have any idea what it will cost them.

The Greens love it of course. Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund, says it is all about “carbon dioxide pollution,” which is a hoax. Here is Krupp’s claim:

Ambitious efforts to slash carbon dioxide pollution are urgently needed. Xcel Energy’s vision will help speed the day when the United States eliminates all such pollution from its power sector, which is necessary to seize the environmental and economic opportunity of powering cars, trucks, homes and businesses with cost-effective, zero-emitting electricity.”

Colorado’s radical green Governor-elect Jared Polis is politically ecstatic, saying “When I launched my campaign back in 2017 we had a bold agenda for our state to get to 100 percent renewable by 2040. Xcel Energy’s exciting announcement today, along with the strong climate goals communities like Pueblo, Summit County, Ft. Collins, Denver and others across the state have embraced, shows we are leading the way forward right here in Colorado — by committing to a renewable and clean energy future.”

Polis and the others are deeply mistaken in thinking Xcel means 100% renewables. That is actually impossible, because wind and solar generation are highly intermittent, as I explain here. Xcel knows this too but hides it with the following vague statements:

Achieving the long-term vision of zero-carbon electricity requires technologies that are not cost effective or commercially available today. That is why Xcel Energy is committed to ongoing work to develop advanced technologies while putting the necessary policies in place to achieve this transition.” (Emphasis added)

Zero emissions and 100% renewables are two very different things, as I explain here in “100% renewable deception.” In fact Xcel is planning on using huge amounts of batteries plus fossil fueled generation with carbon capture and storage. That is, with both chemical and carbon energy.

Note that the needed technologies do not even exist in usable form. How then does Xcel know they will be cost effective? Clearly they cannot know this. I see no hint of an engineering plan and cost estimate for bringing this scheme off and doubt one exists.

A lot of people who buy into the climate scare invest on the basis of greenness. Given that Xcel is a publicly traded, stockholder owned corporation, one wonders if this “we are the greenest in the land” hype amounts to securities fraud. Perhaps this potential fraud is something the SEC should look into.

Author

  • David Wojick, Ph.D. is an independent analyst working at the intersection of science, technology and policy. For origins see http://www.stemed.info/engineer_tackles_confusion.html For over 100 prior articles for CFACT see http://www.cfact.org/author/david-wojick-ph-d/ Available for confidential research and consulting.