Government / Industry

Wind Industry Seeks National Renewable Energy Standard

Wind Industry Seeks National Renewable Energy Standard

The U.S. Department of Energy published a study in 2008 that showed that the U.S. could receive 20 percent of its electricity from wind by the year 2030. While this is an exciting prospect, wind power executives have stated that they would need a long-term government commitment to helping make that happen in the form of a national renewable electricity standard (RES).

The House and Senate are both considering bills that would see the implementation of an RES. The House bill calls for utilities to receive six percent of all their power from wind, solar power, biomass, or geothermal by 2012 and 25 percent by 2025.

The RES would help ensure demand for wind energy which would consequently lead to an increased investment in the U.S. wind turbine part manufacturers and suppliers since builders prefer to source components locally.

In order to accomplish their goals, wind power company executives are going to need to see an expansion of the electrical grid to allow for increased wind farm development as well as an extension to the wind developer tax credits.

Wind power detractors often point to the costs of establishing wind farms as being too high. Michael Polsky, CEO of wind energy developer Invenergy, responded to this critique on Wednesday, stating that new wind power installations cost than building a new coal or nuclear power plant. He also pointed out that wind power also helps achieve national goals of lowering imports of fossil fuels and carbon emissions, while building out economic development.

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