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Smart utility companies like Duke Energy embrace renewable energy

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Republicans in North Carolina introduced a bill to kill that state’s renewable energy plan. Mega utility Duke Energy didn’t support it and while the bill did pass a committee, it still has to pass both houses. Duke has a fast growing renewable energy subsidiary which is non-regulated. Apple and Google have ginormous data centers in North Carolina and want renewable energy. Duke is happy to provide it. This is a company that gets it.

In San Francisco, things are reversed. troglodyte Pacific Gas and Electric is fighting municipally-owned clean energy company CleanPowerSF, trying to block it from growing.

Failure to buy renewable power, and to plan for it, risks a utility’s long-term survival as a monopoly provider. And there are lots of ways to gain unregulated — free — cash flow from making, selling and managing renewable power.

Against that reality, ideology is powerless.

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