Friday, August 3, 2007

Light Reading

Seattle City Light's customer newsletter, Light Reading has some good information this month for people interested in Seattle's energy use.

First, the 2006 fuel mix disclosure indicates that 98.0% of all electricity used in Seattle is from non-carbon emissions sources. This is from from 2005's 93.7%. Here is the 2006 breakdown:
  • Hydro: 89.8%
  • Nuclear: 4.6%
  • Wind: 3.5%
  • Natural Gas: 1.1%
  • Coal: 0.9%
  • Biomass: 0.05%
  • Petroleum: 0.01%
  • Waste: 0.02%
I wonder what "waste" is.

The other resource in the newsletter is a personal emissions calculator provided by the Environmental Protection Agency. Unfortunately, the usage calculation for home electricity use is based on national averages, both for cost per KWH and power mix. This is important for assessing % generation from 'green' sources. For my ~$40/month bill, I've estimated that I should enter $2.50/month in order to account for this benefit of living in the Northwest. (2% of our energy comes from burning carbon, while the national average is 70%, but we pay about half of the national power rate average; Seattlites should multiply their bills by .06.)

Seattle still looks to me like a rather green city. Emerald in fact.

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