Oregon Releases 10 Year Energy Plan, Focusing On Efficiency, Renewables

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber released a 10-year Energy Plan, and unlike that of the House in Congress, it focuses on energy efficiency and clean energy.

It starts by saying, "Energy is THE issue of our time – both globally and here in Oregon – and no single issue will have a greater impact on our state’s economy, environment and quality of life in the coming decade. The central question is whether we will shape our energy future through intentional investment and development, or whether it will shape us."

Some parts of the plan can be enacted now, others need legislative approval.

Its three main core strategies are:

  • Maximize energy efficiency and conservation to meet 100% of new electricity load growth. 

    Oregon ranks fourth in the US for energy efficiency. To reach the goal, every occupied state-owned building will establish baseline energy use, undergo an energy audit and identify cost-effective retrofits in the next 10 years, improving the performance of up to four million square feet and using the state as a market driver. 

  • Remove financial and regulatory barriers for clean energy infrastructure development

    Since 2007, over $5 billion has been invested in renewable energy development in Oregon, but barriers remain: outdated, inadequate transmission infrastructure; inefficient and disjointed local, state and federal regulatory processes; and limited public resources.

    The plan calls for landscape level planning and streamlined permitting to give clean energy developers more certainty and predictability and to ensure the State’s natural resources are protected. It also calls for developing a new regional infrastructure bank to leverage public and private investment. 

  • Accelerate the market transition to a more efficient, cleaner transportation system.

    Transportation is the single largest contributor to Oregon’s carbon emissions, are a significant source of air toxics, and cost average Oregonians nearly 7% of disposable income. 

    The plan calls for converting 20% of large fleets to alternative fuel vehicles over the next 10 years.

In 2009, Portland, Oregon adopted a Climate Action Plan. The city’s greenhouse gas emissions are now 6% below 1990 levels even though population has grown 26% over that time, and US emissions have grown 12%.  

Here’s the plan:

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Comments on “Oregon Releases 10 Year Energy Plan, Focusing On Efficiency, Renewables”

  1. Sid Abma

    And how about natural gas? How does Oregon heat their buildings and water? With electricity?
    Natural gas is “our” fuel that can bring our country to energy security. It can be used as transportation fuel for trucks and commuter cars and even trains.
    Industry and large commercial buildings consume most of the states volume of natural gas . Lets teach our government to realize that the appliances that heat these large buildings and are used by industry are not very energy efficient. There is a lot of hot wasted energy leaving the chimney’s of all these locations! This is an area where a lot of energy can be recovered. Natural gas is a fuel that can be consumed to almost 100% energy efficiency, so why is so much of it allowed to be wasted?
    Want to reduce emissions? Check with the Department of Energy as to how much emissions can be reduced in numbers, electricity vs natural gas.
    Natural gas can be used so efficiently that with the technology of Condensing Flue Gas Heat Recovery, even the water in this waste exhaust can be recovered, and then used.
    It’s time to increase all forms of energy efficiency.


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