I predict that energy will be one of the next big crisis’s that we have to deal with after we finish with the economic crisis.  Before that it was the housing crisis.  Before that it was Iraq.  Before that it was 9-11.  These events affect all of us, some more deeply than others.  The catastrophe’s that have the loss of human life are the greatest of all.  However, it is just so apparent with the discussion of wind and solar to see where energy is going.  Have you looked at the cost of wind or solar to see how you can justify it?  You can’t.  Government involvement…I guess I am not in favor of the taxpayers funding this endeavor.  The private sector will figure out a way as the technology becomes more advanced.    So with that, I just can’t see how we can sustain the prices that we are currently paying for all of our energy usage.  The cost to build more production is very expensive.  I was reading my Clearwater-Polk Electric Cooperative newsletter and it seemed to concur with my thoughts all along.  Here’s a brief rendition:

“The economic downturn in the United States has contributed greatly to a significant 2009 revenue loss at Minnkota Power Cooperative…A major reason is that demand for electricity is significantly less this year than in recent years.  Since the regional wholesale energy market is driven, in large part, by demand for electricity, the market has been extremely low for most of 2009-about 2 cents per kilowatt-hour less than normal…For instance, Minnkota is expected to sell approximately 1.4 billion kWh of surplus energy in 2009.  Since Minnkota is receiving nearly 2 cents per kWh less than expected for our surplus wholesale energy, Minnkota will likely receive $28 million less surplus energy sales revenue than expected…An $8 million reduction in the expected cost of energy purchased from the market for off-peak loads and replacement energy will partially offset the shortfall-but, even with that offset, it still leaves a $20 million net shortfall.”

In another part of the newsletter, the manager Bruce Bjerke had this to say:  “As Congress continues to address climate change, we’re starting to hear a wide range of estimates on what the decisions of lawmakers will cost American consumers.  The Congressional Budget Office, a non-partisan arm of Congress that prepares fiscal estimates and budgets, claims the increase in energy costs will be about the same as a postage stamp a day for the average homeowner.  Other estimates are much higher – which makes me worry.  I would rather be telling you that your electric bills won’t be going up at all, even if the cost is equivalent to a stamp a day.  But as you can see by reading the article on Minnkota’s revenue shortfall along with climate change legislation that will not be the case…At Clearwater-Polk we’re committed to keeping your rates as low and affordable as possible.  Our region still boasts the lowest electric rates (Blog note: I paid $.077/kWh at Clearwater-Polk this month) in the nation.  New England states come in with the highest at an average of $.18/kWh…”

When I first started selling real estate in 1982, ALP was around $.045/kWh and REA was around $.054/kWh.  Currently, they are running around the 9-10 cents/kWh range.  That’s a doubling in 25 years or so.  I think that I would be naive to not believe that it will double again, in say_______years?

Why do I bring this up?  Only for you to consider the future…where are you going to live?  How are you going to live?  What are your housing needs?  How many people will be living with you?  How much room does your business need?   How much energy will this home use?  Some things we can’t control, like energy costs.  But we can make informed decisions on topics that stay with us a very long time, like housing.