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RE: The simplicity

I think you judge them too harshly. I interpret the response to say that they purchase sufficient power from Texas windfarms to meet the needs of all of their subscribers who pay the “green” premium (to include Brandon). It wouldn’t hurt to ask him to make that explicit, but it’s a reasonable interpretation of what he said.

Your analogy of seawater is faulty at a couple of levels. First, they didn’t say they’ve got some sort of separation of “clean” and “dirty” grids — I don’t think anybody has a realistic expectation that the “clean” and “dirty” power are forever kept separate until delivered.

It’s not cost-effective to simply shut down all the “dirty” power sources and instantly switch over. This process of allowing folks like Brandon to pay a premium for “clean” power is a cost-effective way of making the shift gradually. It’s politically and financially separate.

The second way in which your analogy is faulty is in a much more technical sense. Electrons are indistinguishable from one another — down at the bottom level of reality, they have no separate identities. It makes no sense to talk about “electron A over here”, and “electron B over there”. The entire power grid, including all the sources and all the sinks are one giant quantum-entangled configuration, obeying the Schrödinger equation as it evolves.

It’s entirely meaningless to talk about the system in terms of some electrons entering the system and then the same electrons later exiting the system. So it’s literally just as true to say that the customers paying the “green” premium are getting the electrons produced at the “green” sources as it is to say they’re somehow all mixed together so that the “dirty” electrons “contaminate” the clean ones.

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RE: The simplicity by Brandon

The best Jack came up with was this – which is interesting, but clearly not proof.

Overall, though, I’m satisfied with his response. As I stated before, I’m completely okay with the company simply purchasing enough green energy to cover me (in the way Scott described).

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