March 10, 2008

NBC11 Hits a Homerun With Wind Power

In San Jose, California a big thing happened on Friday. NBC11 became the first TV station to be fully powered by wind. To be factually correct the TV station has begun to buy as many wing power energy credits as they produce so that all of their power consumption is set off by wind energy production. The energy tax credits and public-friendly appeal were too much for the station to pass up and when the pitch came they took a swing.

This is part of an effort by the station called "EcoLogic" that aims to "educate NBC11 employees, viewers and local businesses about ways they can reduce their carbon footprint at work and at home." The campaign kicked off in January when the station educated and informed employees to turn off lights and computer stations when not necessary. After two months of saved energy costs the company bought enough Renewable energy certificates to offset the energy costs of their San Jose studio and invest in wind energy research.

In all honesty I'm not a huge fan of the buying clean energy credits. I applaud the effort to fund renewable energy and have it contribute to the energy grid but I feel it removes a crucial element to true investment in renewable energy. The company really has no incentive to reduce their energy usage as they can just buy off however much energy they use. True, a company will have to spend more if they decide to be wasteful and that extra money will go towards research but companies have no real investment in the programs.

At anytime a company could decide to stop with the credit buying and fund something else. But if the company truly relied on its energy from a solar or wind plant you better believe that they would make sure the thing is running and reliable. That is a true investment in technology, one where your operation simultaneously uses and nurtures a process in the hopes of future gains. As it stands these companies have little incentive to baby their partners as there are multiple vendors of energy credits and if your vendor shuts down a quick shop will solve the problem.

This shouldn't take away from what NBC11 is doing because at their heart the company is truly making an effort to reduce their impact and influence those around them to do the same. Hopefully more of corporate America will step up to the plate and at least take a swing, we've watched the pitch go by us for too long.

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eredux said...

Check out this US Carbon Footprint Map, an interactive United States Carbon Footprint Map, illustrating Greenest States to Cities. This site has all sorts of stats on individual State & City energy consumptions, demographics and much more down to your local US City level...

Tye said...

awesome chart eredux, thanks for the heads up! will def post up today.