Wind Group Wants More States to Support Renewables

The wind energy industry in the United States hopes that more states will follow the lead of New York and increase their commitment to wind and other renewables.

WASHINGTON, DC, US, 2001-06-15 [] The wind energy industry in the United States hopes that more states will follow the lead of New York and increase their commitment to wind and other renewables. The American Wind Energy Association praised New York Governor George Pataki for his Executive Order that will require state agencies to buy renewable energy for their electricity needs. The Order will require the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority and other state agencies to purchase 10 percent of their power from renewables by 2005, and 20 percent by 2010. The announcement will create the first stable, long-term markets for retail sales of wind energy in that state, as well as boost solar photovoltaics and biomass energy sources, says AWEA executive director Randall Swisher. “Wind energy is ready, today, to supply substantial amounts of electricity in the Empire State,” he says. “The first New York wind projects are in place and operating well, and there is enough windy land for many more enough to power nearly two million homes.” “Nationally, we believe that wind energy can provide 6 percent of U.S. electricity requirements by 2020,” he explains. “Governor Pataki’s announcement, the largest state renewable energy procurement commitment in U.S. history, should give wind power a tremendous boost.” “We hope other states, as well as the federal government, will follow New York’s lead,” adds Bruce Bailey of AWS Scientific, a wind meteorological firm based in Albany. “Because renewable energy reduces use of fossil fuels, state and federal renewable energy purchases help stabilize energy costs and reduce air pollution.” State agencies in New York require 630 MW of power, and AWEA calculates that the initiative will result in 165 million kWh per year of renewable energy by 2005 and 330 million kWh by 2010. The 2010 purchase requirement is sufficient to serve 40,000 homes and is equal to the annual production from 130 MW of installed wind turbines. AWEA anticipates that wind will supply at least three-quarters of the renewable electricity purchases. “Private financing for wind energy projects often requires a secure, predictable stream of revenues from electric power sales,” explains Peter Mandelstam of Arcadia Windpower, a New York wind financing firm. “So far, green energy markets have not emerged in New York, leaving developers without a stable market for green electric power sales. The Governor’s Executive Order should result in long-term contracts for wind energy sales, making substantial renewable energy development possible in the state while a market for green electricity develops.” Mandelstam and Bailey are co-chairs of Wind Power New York, an initiative of AWEA for that state. The group is campaigning for a series of legislative and policy goals, including a renewables portfolio standard to require a certain minimum percentage of all electricity sold in the state to come from renewable energy sources (with the percentage increasing over time) and a tax credit to lower the cost of a small wind turbine intended for household or small business use. Implementation of Pataki’s Executive Order will be coordinated by the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA).
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