News Release from American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)


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AWEA - Wind energy poised to help deliver on national climate commitment

AWEA welcomes the President’s initiative to proceed with climate actions focused at this time on executive agencies. AWEA supports policies to achieve science-based greenhouse gas reduction targets

U.S. President Barack Obama will unveil his second-term climate change agenda with a view to limiting carbon emissions from the country’s power plants.
In a speech at Georgetown University at 1:35 p.m. EDT (1735 GMT) , Obama is set to “lay out his vision for the steps” the U.S. need to take to combat climate change, according to the White House.
“Today, we have limits in place for arsenic, mercury and lead, but we let power plants release as much carbon pollution as they want,” said the White House statement, adding that the president will direct the country’s Environmental Protection Agency “to work closely with states, industry and other stakeholder to establish carbon pollution standards for both new and existing power plants. “
It will also call for the end of U.S. government support for public financing of new coal-fired powers plants overseas, except for the most efficient coal technology available in the world’s poorest countries, or facilities deploying carbon capture and sequestration technologies, it said.
The president’s plan will make up to 8 billion U.S. dollars in loan guarantee available for a wide array of advanced fossil energy and efficiency projects to support investments in innovative technologies, the White House said.
It will direct the Department of Interior to permit enough renewable projects like wind and solar on public lands by 2020 to power more than 6 million homes.
Obama will also set a goal to install 100 megawatts of renewables on federally assisted housing by the end of the decade.
In addition, the White House said, the president will set a goal to reduce carbon pollution by at least 3 billion tons cumulatively by 2030, more than half of the annual carbon pollution from the U.S. energy sector.
Commenting on Obama’s new climate plan, John Sauven form Greenpeace said at the very least it “sends a huge signal.” “If Obama is serious about challenging the dominance of the oil, gas and coal lobby, then the U.S. diplomats … will be the first to push for real action instead of holding the world back,” Sauven said in a statement.
Obama has pledged that the United States would cut emissions by 17 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels, and according to data released by the country’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in April, emissions fell 6.9 percent from 2005 to 2011.
But for most countries, 1990, rather than 2005, is the base year. Compared with 1990, U.S. emissions are up about eight percent, according to the EPA data.
As a leading source of emission-free electricity, wind energy will help deliver on the national commitment to slow dangerous climate change which President Obama announced today in a major address at Georgetown University.
“We welcome the President’s initiative to proceed with climate actions focused at this time on executive agencies. AWEA supports policies to achieve science-based greenhouse gas reduction targets,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. “Since wind energy is a leading zero-carbon source of electric power, we’re ready to do our part – especially since wind turbines can be deployed in a matter of months, and wind power is rapidly scaling up to make a major reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.”

Generating 20 percent of U.S. electricity from wind, a target which the wind industry is on track to reach by the year 2030, will be the climate equivalent of removing 140 million vehicles from the roadways.

“Wind energy is among the readily deployable options for which there is no need to wait,” Kiernan added. “Large-scale wind energy was invented in America, and today American workers make nearly 70 percent of the equipment deployed here. And, wind power is more affordable than ever, protecting electricity consumers with 25-year contracts and no risk of fuel price shocks.”
Already, during 2013, operating U.S. wind projects will avoid nearly 98.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide – the equivalent of reducing power sector emissions by 4.4 percent, or taking over 17.4 million cars off the road.
Increasing renewables – and wind energy in particular – is creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and expanding a new U.S. manufacturing sector, as well as saving consumers and federal taxpayers money.

Purchases by electric utilities, industrial customers, and communities made wind energy the leading source of new electric generation in America last year, at 42 percent, ahead of all other power sources.
American Wind Energy Association
Posted by Trevor Sievert, Online Editorial Journalist / By AWEA Staff

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