The Portland Press Herald reported facts, last week, on Maine’s anemic economy and the painful increases in electricity rates coming soon. You might consider an issue titled “Putting the squeeze on budgeting families.” This is my first summer in Maine, from the regressive state of Florida, and I hope to share a profitable notion in appreciation for your wonderful summer.

The increase is being attributed to the need for more gas pipelines and cleaner power plants. Many billions are to be spent on these upgrades, followed yearly by billions for imported fuel. The low cost of gas at present won’t help matters much, as the big cost increase relates to a complicated plan to insure excess power is available at a premium during peak demand. Then after new pipelines are complete, in a few years, rates may decrease.

Relatively little consideration seems to be given to renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, purportedly due to their variable nature. Why haven’t the power companies invested similar billions to plan for a flexible grid for renewables with storage capacities from batteries and a myriad of other storage systems? Who might not benefit from Maine not purchasing fuel from the Marcellus Shale wells? The Solution Project demonstrates how Maine could produce 100 percent of it’s electricity from renewables, about 70 percent from wind. That would mean billions of dollars annually staying in Maine. The same project demonstrates a transition to renewable energy creating 30,000 permanent jobs over a 40-year period.

I’m no economist, but wouldn’t the money that stays in Maine boost income for it’s residents? Florida and the Southeast has yet to incentivize green energy like New England. How can we all not call for a rapid transition to renewables? Good for the economy and good for our planet.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.