TVA’s draft long-range energy plan misses the opportunity to capitalize on energy efficiency

(© Robert Llewellyn)

The Tennessee Valley Authority released its draft 2015 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) detailing how the federal utility will generate electricity in the future. The draft plan takes significant steps in the right direction, such as confirming that TVA can readily reduce emissions to facilitate state compliance with EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan. However, there are still serious concerns about the development of clean energy resources that must be addressed before the TVA Board of Directors approves a final plan in August.

The 2015 draft long-range plan is not capturing the full potential of energy efficiency as a cost-saving, emission-free resource. The plan doesn’t go far enough to expand energy efficiency programs, a missed opportunity to help customers lower electric bills and benefit from improved air quality. 

TVA has significantly rolled back its previous commitment from the 2011 IRP to be the region’s leader in increased energy efficiency. Over the past four years, TVA has cut its energy efficiency budget and is stalled at one-third of its 2011 IRP goal. 

The 2015 goals are based on an analysis that underestimates TVA’s capacity to ramp up EE programs quickly and overestimates cost of implementation. Because TVA’s draft plan underestimates the value of energy efficiency as a resource, it calls for more fossil fuel generation than is necessary. 

Read the press release from SELC, Sierra Club, and Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

Read the article "TVA criticized for its take on renewables in long-term energy plan" on EEnews.net (by Kristi Swartz on March 10, 2015, *Paid subcrption required)

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