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Dominion Renewables 2011

Resolution: The shareholders request that Dominion Resources set and pursue a company goal to achieve 20% renewable electricity energy generation by 2024.
 
Rationale: Electricity production accounts for 40% of world CO2 emission (US Energy Information Administration). Coal contributes 80% of the US CO2 production from electricity generation (EIA).
 
The International Energy Agency, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and World Energy Council agree that quick, aggressive action is needed to reduce carbon-based energy sources and expand renewable resources, to prevent dangerous interference with the climate system. Climate change produces devastating ecological damage and negative human health effects. Companies are financially impacted both by weakened economies and a probable future direct tax on carbon emissions.
 
Mountaintop removal mining removes whole mountaintops and fills stream valleys. A coal plant burning 1.6 million tons of coal concentrates two tons of uranium and five tons of thorium in fly ash. At over 50 tons per year, coal plants are this nation’s largest producers of mercury (EPA). Coal sludge spills and fly-ash mitigation are damaging and costly, with 126 million tons of coal waste annually (National Research Council). Coal-fired plants cause premature deaths of 24,000 Americans annually (American Lung Association). The Virginia Governor’s Commission on Climate Change came within one vote of banning all new coal-fired plants (2008). Federal hindrances to mountaintop removal mining continue to mount.
 
This 20% goal, roughly 3000 MW, is achievable by implementing off-shore and on-shore wind power, rooftop solar, biomass generation, and conservation measures.
 
Wind power constituted 42% of all new US electric power installations in 2008. With the current 28,000 MW of installed US wind power, rates are comparable to wholesale electric power (US Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy). Virginia is lagging other states in installed wind power. EERE forecasts the cumulative economic benefits from 1000 MW of Virginia wind power at $1.2 billion.
 
Current tax and financial policy is very favorable to wind, with 30% investment tax credit, bonus depreciation, loan guarantees, grants, and transmission assistance. Using existing production facilities, Dominion could install 3000 MW of wind power by 2024 in Virginia coastal waters; developing 20% of the mid-Atlantic offshore wind sites would yield 33,000 MW (VCREC). In addition, on-shore wind farms are a profitable, cleaner and less conflict-laden alternative to new coal or nuclear plants and their associated mining.
 
Distributed solar is benefited by available tax credits, and could be financed by Dominion at a profit. The ACEEE report shows that energy efficiency measures can offset 20% of Virginia electricity needs by 2025.
 
Currently, Dominion’s stated policy of commitment to the Virginia voluntary goal of 15% renewable by 2025 is not reflected in the company’s own Integrated Resource Plans. Taking on this goal would align Dominion’s plans with stated policy.
 
By shifting to electricity generation that is free of the environmental, health, and financial handicaps of coal, Dominion will position itself for future financial success.
 
Recommended reading:
Plan B 4.0
Earth: The Sequel
Big Coal
Coal River
http://www1.eere.energy.gov/windandhydro/
http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/
http://vwec.cisat.jmu.edu/
http://www.awea.org/
http://www.vcerc.org/
http://www.repoweramerica.org/
http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/
http://www.350.org/