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Villaraigosa celebrates Los Angeles DWP milestone: 20% of power from renewable sources

http://opinion.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c7de353ef01310fa96d0c970c-250wi Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa celebrated an environmental milestone on Thursday, confirming what had been predicted for much of last year: the Department of Water and Power managed to secure 20% of its power from renewable sources, including wind and solar power, in 2010.

Villaraigosa promised to reach that goal during the 2005 election campaign. Sustaining it may be another matter, according to a draft report issued two months ago by the DWP, the nation's largest municipally owned utility.

In that report, DWP officials warned that its renewable-energy portfolio would steadily slip backward over the next five years, to 13% in 2015, unless the utility received a major infusion of cash. In that same report, DWP officials recommended that the utility scale back the ambitious renewable-energy promise that Villaraigosa made in his 2009 inaugural -- getting 40% of the DWP's power from renewable sources by 2020.

The mayor said Thursday that he was now pushing for a 33% renewable goal by 2020. DWP officials warned last month that even that more conservative goal -- when combined with other long-term expenses at the DWP -- could result in electricity-rate hikes of 5% to 8% in each of the next five years.

Villaraigosa said he did not believe the renewable-energy portfolio would fall to 13%. But he declined to commit to any specific rate-hike proposal, saying he was trying to keep the focus Thursday on the utility’s environmental achievements.

“As long as I’m mayor, I think you’re going to see a steady march” toward more renewable energy, he said.

First Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner said he was trying to find ways to reduce the size of potential rate increases and argued that Southern California Edison -- serving customers outside Los Angeles -- was pursuing hikes that were similar or even larger in size. Still, he also warned that cleaner energy would come at a cost.

“I think everybody understands there’s no free lunch,” said Beutner, who is serving as the DWP’s interim general manager.

RELATED:

L.A. City Council fails to override Villaraigosa veto of DWP ballot measure

Villaraigosa to nominate private energy consultant as his sixth general manager of DWP

Villaraigosa vetoes measure that would give council power to fire DWP leadership

-- David Zahniser at Los Angeles City Hall

Photo: Solar panels at DWP building. Credit: L.A. Times

 
Comments () | Archives (14)

"But he [Mayor Tony] declined to commit to any specific rate-hike proposal, saying he was trying to keep the focus Thursday on the utility’s environmental achievements."

Sounds like my mother reporting on the slot machines in Vegas. Looks pretty good if you only look at how much you win and ignore how much it costs.

Mom knows when to stop does the Mayor and the DWP?

"slip backward over the next five years, to 13% in 2015, unless the utility received a major infusion of cash"

This statement tells you about progress.. yes progress. Wait till your DWP bills goes up by 30% .. then you tell me about progress.

Luckily I am out of DWP reach for now.

“I think everybody understands there’s no free lunch,” said Beutner, who is serving as the DWP’s interim general manager.

Of course there is no free lunch for us the people.. there are plenty in the DWP!

I'm proud of LA for doing this. Of course clean energy is going to cost more than dirty energy. You get what you pay for. It is like buying the better filter on your air conditioner or going with the more fuel efficient car. We have to invest in long-term quality instead of short-term stinginess.

I don't believe this for a minute. From where exactly is all this renewable energy coming? Arizona maybe?

You will soon find out that this is a lie. There is no way that 20% of LA's power is coming from these dismal wind & solar sites. Don't get me wrong. I'm glad alternative energy is being researched and developed, but this story is False, period. What you will find out is 20% of LA's "new" power may come from these sources, but only low single digit percentage of total power consumption comes from these.

Yes, this is a really good start! I'm glad we're moving in the right direction for the future!

No. not a single soul believes on a free lunch. But I do believe in cutting executives salaries at least in half and if they do not like it, feel free to go get free benefits and others free perks somewhere else.

Good job DWP! Time to pay the piper, ye o' ratepayers.

Oh, so those hydroelectric damns that have been here for nearly 100 years....suddenly count as green?

...could result in electricity-rate hikes of 5% to 8% in each of the next five years [8% compounded annually for 5 years is 46.9%]...First Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner... - Still, he also warned that cleaner energy would come at a cost."

Maybe a Billionaire like Beutner can afford such a rate increase, but the working class taxpayers of Los Angeles won't be able to absorb this. And more businesses will move to a more affordable region to do business further compounding Los Angeles' financial problems.

why are you ignoring the UCLA/LA Business Council study proving that PAYING RESIDENTS FAIRLY to produce clean power on their rooftops is the cheapest, fastest, cleanest and best way to go green, and in fact, within 10 years will make energy bills far lower than staying with fossil fuels or going with Big Solar and Big Wind?

i realize all utilities want monopoly control, but the truth is you are ripping us off if you don't get us a feed in tariff immediately, and that should not be allowed! if you care about jobs, property values, clean energy, grid stability, energy conservation , water and land waste, or the environment, feed in tariffs supporting LOCAL solar are the only answer, so what are you waiting for?

Of course its a lie.

They're counting hydropower.

According to Wikipedia the DWP as of 2005 was getting 52% of its electricity from coal-fired plants in Utah, Arizona, and Nevada; 26% from four natural gas-fired generators within city boundaries; 11% is generated using nuclear and only 6% from hydropower. Read the page for all the details but in light of this it's really hard to believe it's 20% green at this point. I agree we need to move forward into the future using more green energy but it needs to be done responsibly and not at astromomical cost to the end consumer. Sadly I think we are going to get seriously higher rates no matter what happens which is a complete rip off!


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