Nevada power utility NV Energy has responded to Las Vegas casinos installing solar panels by threatening "exit fees" for leaving the utility and promising higher fees for homeowners.
- Cashing in the energy chips in Las Vegas: Bob McDonald
- Clean-technology investors call for federal task force
As CBC's Bob McDonald writes: "Energy companies are huge multinational industries that drive the economy, employ thousands and have huge political sway. They will not embrace change easily because it is perceived as a threat to their very existence.
"So, how do we embrace new technology without putting thousands of people out of work?"
How do we embrace clean energy without disrupting the economy?
Readers let us know in the latest CBC Forum — a live, hosted event about topics of national interest.
(Please note that usernames are not necessarily the names of commenters. Some comments have been altered to correct spelling and to conform to CBC style. Click on the username to see the complete comment in the blog format.)
Some commenters said Canada's energy grid should stay the way it is.
"Going green has consequences. Something has to break for another thing to work. Personally, if it were up to me, I'd do anything to ensure those workers' kids were fed. Your kids far outweigh the environment." — Content Disabled
However, the vast majority of forum users said more alternative energy production is on its way, with several pointing to what they said were improvements in storage.
"Battery tech advances every year. Soon we'll be able to store our own electricity on site, and so there won't be any need to transmit power over long distances (suffering massive efficiency losses). The periodicity of generation from sunlight, wind, etc. will cease to matter quite so much because the batteries will be there to smooth out the delivery."
While there was wide agreement on the rise of alternative energy, commenters had a wide array of opinions on what that meant and what the best way forward is.
"Short-term economic disruption is inevitable, and it will happen with both dirty and clean energy. Clean energy is more of a long-term initiative. With adequate warning, the economy can always adjust as needed, albeit slowly, e.g. car emission standards" — Luigi
"Refusing to seriously invest in alternative energy shows a lack of economic foresight, at best. The price of fossil fuels may rise and fall but it will trend ever upwards as a scarcity develops. Maybe not in our lifetime, but it is inevitable that we'll find ourselves as a society wishing we had invested more in alternatives when we had the chance."
"A reminder: the energy industry as we know it will not disappear, but simply change. Oil and natural gas are used for more than simply heat and energy. They are essential to many of the products that we use today in our day-to-day lives. By focusing on investment into these sectors as we shift from carbon based energy to renewable energy, resource extraction will continue to provide a positive economic benefit to all of Canada, albeit with a different purpose. — ContinuousChange
"The national opportunity is to get the drillers in Alberta to start the geothermal/geoexchange revolution going, working with Ontario manufacturing to supply the pipe, and you have a national project that gets everyone moving without alienation or one-upmanship. If we can get Alberta to go green, the country will move quickly." — enrgyblogwalter
You can read the complete discussion below.