Saturday, October 6, 2012

Here's Another Example of Tracking the Wrong Metric

From the Dickinson Press/Inside Climate News: North Dakota lags in energy efficiency.

I assume the metric is energy use per capita.

Farmers use a lot of diesel. As if to prove my point:
North Dakota ranked last among the states in the scorecard last year, and was cited as one of 10 states “most in need of improvement.” 
Great Plains states generally scored low, with South Dakota ranking 46 and Wyoming 48. Montana ranks 25, but was considered one of the states that showed the most improvement in increasing energy-efficiency, as was Oklahoma, which ranks 39. 
This is a better metric: our electric rates are among the lowest.
Although North Dakota scores low in the council’s annual ranking, state and lignite industry officials have long touted the state’s electricity rates, which rank among the nation’s lowest.  
In 2010, the most recent comparison available, North Dakota’s lignite-coal-powered electricity plants charged an average of $22.47 per megawatt hour. That compared with $21.28 for all nuclear power, $30.75 for all coal plants and $40.94 for all gas-powered plants, according to figures from the North Dakota Lignite Energy Council.
Wow, who wudda thought? Everyone talks about how little natural gas costs. Look at that: North Dakota's lignite-coal-powered electricity plants charge an average of $20 / megawatt hour, compared to $40 for all natural gas-powered plants across the US (numbers rounded).

Go to the article to see why North Dakota is at the bottom of the rankings: the state relies on market forces to drive down energy costs, not regulations from state government. Wow, what a concept.

I wonder what Minnesotans pay for their wind-generated electricity? That's a rhetorical question; please do not reply.

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