Kansas’s energy policies lack direction

Harnessing our abundant wind resource has led to billions in investment into Kansas, millions in landowner lease payments, thousands of jobs and reduction of regional energy costs. We could do the same with solar power and energy storage.

By

Opinion

March 6, 2024 - 3:06 PM

Sheep graze under solar panels at a solar farm in Stony Creek, Virginia. The sheep are provided by a private company to keep the grass at bay. Kansas ranks in the top 10 among states in solar potential, yet it is 44th in solar energy generation. (Kendall Warner/The Virginian-Pilot/TNS)

Have you ever been on a long road trip with a group of disagreeing passengers? It can be dysfunctional, unpleasant, and definitely jeopardize the journey. Where to go, how fast or how safe to drive, when to stop, what to see, and trip costs may all be controversial variables to fuss over.

This year’s debate on energy policy in the Kansas Legislature feels a lot like a dysfunctional road trip with lawmakers grappling with diverging views about our energy future and proposals affecting electric rates, fuel types, energy transition and utility investment. Underlying the problem is that we have no State Energy Plan to guide us.


For too long, Kansas has relied on expensive and polluting Wyoming coal when we could be turning more to lower-cost energy efficiency, wind, and solar strategies. 

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