Hydropower is the oldest form of renewable energy on the planet- but it’s no longer “green”

Hydropower from before 1995 doesn’t qualify as “green” enough? Seriously, is someone turning off the spigot? Hydro has been renewable before our environmentalists coined the term! And it has stood the test of time, unlike the 1st windmills that were abandoned because of their intermittency. BigWind and the BigSun had, apparently, put some pocket change in some politicians’s coffers. Reminds me of a similar fight in Ohio when our senate bill was passed…

Oregon requires large utilities to get 25 percent of their energy from new renewable sources by 2025. Smaller utilities must reach lower targets.

A recent influx of power-hungry data centers is pushing smaller Eastern Oregon utilities closer to large-utility status. Faced with the prospect of complying with the tougher standards, a lobbyist for the Umatilla Electric Cooperative has been collecting signatures for a ballot measure that would allow Umatilla and other consumer-owned utilities to get around the mandates.

Proponents of the mandate say the ballot measure would undermine the effort to spur investment in renewables….

Hydropower from dams built before 1995 doesn’t count toward the 25 percent renewables target under Oregon’s 2007 energy mandate, known as the renewable portfolio standard. Proponents say that’s because it was intended to spur new green-energy investments.

The ballot measure would allow utilities to use all dams to satisfy the energy mandates. Because the rural electric cooperatives get nearly all their power from the dams on the Columbia River, they’d be able to meet the standard without buying additional renewable energy.

They’ve submitted just under 13,000 of the 87,213 signatures they’ll need to quality for the ballot in November….

The measure would also order the Public Utility Commission, which regulates utilities, to study whether it’s feasible to allow businesses to pay extra to get renewable energy, similar to a program that already exists for residential customers. That provision is intended to appease utilities already working to comply with the large-utility mandates, which include Portland General Electric and PacificCorp….

via Compromise on renewable energy would keep measure off Oregon ballot | The Columbian.