Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | November 21, 2008

Lawyer Sanders says Kentucky’s first-ever energy plan looks at alternatives to fossil fuels, including nuclear energy.

Governor Steve Beshear recently unveiled Kentucky’s first-ever comprehensive energy plan.  The energy plan calls for significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while creating some 40,000 jobs tied to energy production and conservation between now and 2025.  Kentucky’s plan centers on seven primary strategies:


1)      Improve the energy efficiency of Kentucky’s homes, buildings, industries and transportation fleet;

2)      Increase Kentucky’s use of renewable energy;

3)      Sustainably grow Kentucky’s production of biofuels;

4)      Develop a coal-to-liquids industry in Kentucky to replace petroleum-based liquids;

5)      Implement a major and comprehensive effort to increase gas, including coal-to-gas in Kentucky;

6)      Initiate aggressive carbon capture/sequestration projects for coal-generated electricity in Kentucky; and

7)      Examine the use of nuclear power for electricity generation in Kentucky.


Specifically, the plan calls for a 20 percent reduction from 1990 levels in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. Moreover, that is a 50 percent reduction from emission levels if Kentucky continues on its current pace of electricity and energy production, a pace that would require a dramatic increase in both production and demand.


While coal and other fossil fuels remain the primary fuels to Kentucky’s energy needs, the plan calls for diversification, conservation and efficiency to reduce demand, and an increasing reliance on renewable and alternative sources.   


An element of that diversification effort is to explore the potential of nuclear power, already utilized in a majority of states, including some bordering Kentucky. Significantly, the plan proposes the creation of Kentucky’s first Renewable and Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS) to promote greater energy efficiency, conservation and use of renewable resources. In addition, the plan calls for the creation of an Alternative Transportation Fuel Standard (ATFS) that will help Kentucky transition away from dependence on foreign petroleum.


 By 2025, the plan for the REPS contemplates that 25 percent of Kentucky’s energy needs should be provided by greater efficiency, conservation and use of renewable and alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar power and biofuels.

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