Cheaper Methane Loses Out To Prettier Wind And Solar

by | Oct 15, 2007

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The Tennessee Valley Authority says it could generate more alternative energy for less cost, if only the public wasn’t so enamored with wind and solar power, The Tennessean reports.

Methane gas is half as expensive as wind power and a tenth the cost of solar power, according to TVA figures.

But it lacks appeal to the rate-paying public. “From a marketing viewpoint, it’s hard to promote,” said Jim Keiffer, TVA senior vice president of marketing.

TVA requires that at least half the energy it creates come from the favorites: solar and wind. From October 2006 to this month, about one percent came from solar panels, 33 percent from burning methane and 66 percent from wind turbines.

The agency’s Web site doesn’t mention how much energy comes from methane. it doesn’t show many pictures of the operation either, using diagrams instead.

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