Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Hydro Advocates Tout Bill That Expedites Permitting

Re-posted  from VPR 5/11/12

Some advocates would like to see Vermont towns go back to the renewable energy future by relying more heavily on hydroelectricity. They say a bill to simplify the permit process that’s pending on Governor Peter Shumlin’s desk would make that more likely, but skeptics say hydro is still too inefficient and expensive.

New hydroelectric projects are hardly ever proposed today, but as hydro supporters like Lori Barg point out, Vermont has a long history of relying on rivers to generate electricity.

“Vermont was founded on hydro. It was born on hydro power,” Barg says. “Vermont is unique in having well over a dozen municipal utilities, most of which started because they had hydro electric projects.”

Now, developers are hoping to convince towns to host new projects, which, Barg says, won’t necessarily involve damming waters. She says there are hundreds of potential projects that wouldn’t involve a dam at all, but would use natural topography. Still, Barg says developers are struggling to navigate the state and federal regulations.

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