News Release from American Clean Power Association (ACP)


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USA - American Wind Energy Association hails House Endorsement of renewable energy

“Today’s vote was a landmark referendum on the direction of the nation’s energy policy,”

In a high-profile vote on the House floor today, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted an energy bill amendment by Congressmen Tom Udall (D-NM) and Todd Platts (R-PA) calling for the establishment of a national renewable electricity standard or RES also (sometimes referred to as a renewable portfolio standard or RPS).

“Today’s vote was a landmark referendum on the direction of the nation’s energy policy,” commented Gregory Wetstone, AWEA’s Senior Director for Government and Public Affairs. “For the first time ever, the House has endorsed a long term commitment to homegrown renewable energy. Studies show that shifting to renewable energy like wind and solar power can save consumers money while protecting our climate and promoting our national security.”

“Now it’s on to conference with the Senate and, hopefully, enactment into law,” Wetstone concluded. “However, the move to cleaner energy faces aggressive and well-financed opposition, and will be possible only with the public’s active support and engagement.”

An RES is a market-based mechanism that calls for a set minimum percentage of the nation’s electricity to be produced from renewable sources, such as wind and solar. More than 20 states have enacted successful renewable electricity standards, but a national RES is needed to fully reap the benefits of renewable energy. The amendment on the House floor calls on electric utilities to obtain 15 percent of the electricity they sell from clean, renewable energy sources by 2020, or to purchase sufficient renewable energy credits to meet the requirement. Up to 4 percent of this amount can be achieved through energy efficiency measures.

Studies show that an RES would:

* Slow global warming: By displacing the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity, an RES can cut emissions of conventional pollutants and greenhouse gases. A 15 percent RES would reduce carbon dioxide CO2 emissions by 11 percent below business-as-usual levels, equivalent to taking more than 25 million cars off the road;

* Reduce energy bills: Energy research firm Wood Mackenzie found that a 15% RES would lower natural gas and electricity prices and save more than $100 billion for American consumers;

* Create jobs: Wind and solar energy are likely to be among the largest sources of new manufacturing jobs worldwide during the 21st Century. A 15 percent RES by 2020 would create over 130,000 new jobs;

* Revitalize rural America: Farmers and rural land owners in windy areas are reaping payments of $3,000-$8,000 per turbine per year, while still being able to work their land. The “wind harvest” can carry hard-pressed farmers through difficult times, such as droughts, even if crops fail; and

* Strengthen energy security: Domestic renewable energy can reduce projected imports of liquid natural gas (LNG) from producers in unstable regions.

The House of Representatives also passed an energy tax bill containing a 4-year, capped extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and a new small wind turbine incentive.

The Senate has passed an energy policy bill that does not contain an RES, and has yet to adopt its energy tax package. Some time after Congress returns in September, these energy policy and energy tax bills will go into a House–Senate conference committee where the differences between the bills will be ironed out. AWEA is seeking inclusion of the RES, a full-value, long-term extension of the PTC, and an effective small wind turbine tax credit in the final bill.

American Wind Energy Association
Edited by Trevor Sievert, Online Editorial Journalist
AWEA, wind energy, renewable energy, wind turbine, wind power, wind farm, rotorblade, onshore, offshore

All news from American Clean Power Association (ACP)

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