Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Wind Energy for a Cleaner America

Business
Wind Energy for a Cleaner America

The U.S. should remain dedicated to wind power installations if it wants to realize a massive reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, a new report suggests.

The Environment America Research & Policy Center released its second Wind Energy for a Cleaner America report today as both a testament to the industry's growth and a plea for Congress to extend the investment and production tax credits.

The organization says the U.S. would avoid the carbon dioxide equivalent of the 32 million passenger vehicles each year by 2018 if it continues to invest in offshore wind development and keeps up the pace of onshore capacity installations from 2007 to 2012. Installations have slowed at points during the last year and a half but wind generation has picked up briskly each year of the past decade-plus.

Graphic credit: Environment America Research & Policy Center

"America’s wind power capacity has quadrupled in the last five years and wind energy now generates as much electricity as is used every year in Georgia," the report's executive summary reads. "Thanks to wind energy, America uses less water for power plants and produces less climate-altering carbon pollution."

Wind generation grew from about 34,500 gigawatt hours (GWh) in 2007 to more than 140,000 GWh by the end of 2012. Last year, wind energy displaced nearly 850 million metric tons of carbon emissions, which is more than amount produced annually in Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina or Washington State. Still, Environment America sees room for growth.

Graphic credit: Environment America Research & Policy Center

States like Iowa, South Dakota and Kansas have enough wind turbines for 20 percent of their electricity needs, which Environment America attributes to renewable energy policies and federal incentives. California is producing 9.9 million megawatt hours and is on pace for an 8 percent increase in wind production by 2018.

“California remains a national leader in the wind energy industry, in large part due to state policies including the Renewable Portfolio Standard,” said Senator Lois Wolk, whose district is home to numerous wind power plants. “If the state is to meet its renewable energy goals, as well as its goals for greenhouse gas reduction, it is vital that California continue to support this important and growing sector of our economy, which improves air quality, and promotes investment and job creation in my district and throughout the state.”

Environment America is concerned about fossil fuel companies and their political allies garnering enough support to prevent the extension of federal tax credits. Entities like Koch Brothers, American Energy Alliance and the American Legislative Exchange Council have all openly opposed incentivizing wind energy.

“Wind energy is improving our quality of life in America,” Julian Boggs, global warming program director for Environment America, said. “We cannot let polluters and their allies stand in the way of additional reductions in carbon, soot and smog pollution and water use. Congress needs to do whatever it takes to extend federal wind incentives as soon as possible.”

Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on these topics.

  

The Bond Fire, started by a structure fire that extended into nearby vegetation on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020 in Silverado, CA. Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times / Getty Images

Hot, dry and windy conditions fueled a wildfire southeast of Los Angeles Thursday that injured two firefighters and forced 25,000 to flee their homes.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Hospital workers evacuate patients from the Feather River Hospital during the Camp Fire on Nov. 8, 2018 in Paradise, California. People in 128 countries have experienced an increased exposure to wildfires, a new Lancet report finds. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

The climate crisis already has a death toll, and it will get worse if we don't act to reduce emissions.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Workers harvest asparagus in a field by the Niederaussem lignite coal power plant in Cologne, Germany. Greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning are reaching new highs. Henning Kaiser / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Stuart Braun

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed the dire threat of climate change Wednesday in a speech on the state of the planet delivered at Columbia University in New York.

Read More Show Less

If you've been wanting to try CBD oil but have been concerned about the price, know that not only can you purchase affordable CBD oil, but you also can purchase high quality CBD oil at those affordable prices.

Read More Show Less
The miserable ones: Young broiler chickens at a feeder. The poor treatment of the chickens within its supply chain has made Tyson the target of public campaigns urging the company to make meaningful changes. U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr

By David Coman-Hidy

The actions of the U.S. meat industry throughout the pandemic have brought to light the true corruption and waste that are inherent within our food system. Despite a new wave of rising COVID-19 cases, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently submitted a proposal to further increase "the maximum slaughter line speed by 25 percent," which was already far too fast and highly dangerous. It has been made evident that the industry will exploit its workers and animals all to boost its profit.

Read More Show Less