Amy Joi O’Donoghue – Deseret News
Utah residents value the low cost of energy in the state and want to keep those costs low as they march toward 2050, when the state is slated to nearly double its population.
While results from Envision Utah’s “Your Utah Your Future” survey on the topic of energy reveal residents value cleaner sources of power generation, there comes a point when they are unwilling to pay for the high costs of energy storage.
Presented with a scenario that prioritizes energy production from a 50 percent renewable energy mix such as wind, solar and geothermal, a 41 percent reliance on natural gas and a near 60 percent increase in household expenses as a result of energy storage, less than a quarter of residents said “yes.”
“Poll results show people want cleaner power generation, but they do not want to give up affordability to get it,” said Alan Matheson, executive director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s environmental adviser.
The survey tapped the responses of nearly 53,000 residents as the result of an extensive 18-month outreach designed to provide a blueprint for the future on key issues such as education, air quality, water and transportation. (…)