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Going green is taking time

Renewable energy needs to be a way of life considering recent local and global concerns regarding climate change. However, the recent proposal for Community Choice Aggregation seems a bit premature.

In making the case to the Saranac Lake Village Board this week, Climate Smart Communities Task Force Coordinator Erin Griffin called New York’s greenhouse gas reduction goals “ambitious, but also necessary.”

Essentially, by gathering — or aggregating — all the electricity users in the Saranac Lake community, the group would be able to purchase renewable power at a cheaper rate than alone. All residents and small businesses who have a National Grid account already would be automatically opted in. They could choose to opt out at any time for no cost.

This is all well and good — but going by the numbers of the New York Independent System Operator, the grid tells a different story. Alternative energy options, at this time, are far from plentiful.

In fact, on Thursday afternoon with New York enjoying comfortable summer temperatures, fossil fuels made up 52% of the energy generated for Empire State customers. Another 16% of the grid came from nuclear with hydro-power contributing 18%. Wind and solar are very minimal — at 3% combined.

Adirondack North Country Association employee and renewable energy advocate Nancy Bernstein believes that if the demand for renewable energies rises, the supply will rise to meet it. We will see if that is the case.

Again, we’re not disputing the need for the proposal. We just think it is fair for community members to know the facts.

Renewables are necessary moving forward. Right now, however, the grid is in need of other, less clean, suppliers.

Without those, many would be in the dark.

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