Friday, June 4, 2010

Duke accused of holding alternative energy back

Posted By on Fri, Jun 4, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Now, if Duke Energy was the friendly and green corporate citizen they like to say they are, would they be holding other alternative energy companies back? No. But the truth is, there isn't anything friendly or green about Duke Energy other than a lot of "visionary" rhetoric from Jim Rogers.

Duke Energy's green when the greenbacks are good and dodgy when the greenbacks are good. Don't get confused. It's all about, and always has been about, the Benjamin's, baby.

THIS is the exact type of thing that earns Rogers a Fossil Fools Day award and constant criticism from environmentalists who call him a greenwasher.

What we'd like to see, Mr. Rogers, is your company putting its money where its mouth is. Think you can make that happen?

Duke Energy’s policies in North Carolina are stifling the growth of the local solar industry there, according to a report in the Charlotte Business Journal.

According to the story, Duke Energy Carolinas has succeeded in controlling the local solar sector by refusing to pay competitive pricing on solar energy and building and operating its own solar projects.

The Journal reports that Duke rarely pays more than 12 cents a kilowatt-hour from independent solar projects. At that price, developers say it is not worth the effort to develop projects. Since Duke already has agreements in place for all the renewable energy credits it requires for the next four years, it can now afford to sit on the sidelines, if it chooses.

The recent complaints aren’t the first against Duke. In 2008, Environmental Leader reported on Wal-Mart’s complaint that Duke’s plan for a $100 million network of solar panels would choke off its own plans to develop a solar power project in the region. Grocery chain Kroger, industrial power consumers and solar advocacy groups also opposed that plan. Duke eventually acquiesced to pressure and reduced the scope of its project by half.

Read more at the Environmental Leader: Energy and Environmental News for Business.

Further reading: The Smooth-Talking King of Coal—and Climate Change (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Greenwashing = greenbacks:

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