Governors’ Wind Coalition Releases 2010 Recommendations

Iowa Governor Chet Culver and Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri on Tuesday released Great Expectations: U.S. Wind Energy Development, the Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition’s 2010 Recommendations. Governor Culver and Governor Carcieri are the chair and vice chair of the 29-state organization.

The recommendations call Congress and the Obama Administration to adopt a 25% by 2025 Renewable Electricity Standard that could create as many 274,000 jobs according to a recent Navigant Consulting study. Within this recommendation, the Governors also laid out plans to reach a minimum of 10% by 2012. Gov. Culver held up Iowa as an example of how this can be done on a state level.

The recommendations also include developing an interstate transmission system policy and regulatory framework to speed up the implementation of renewable energy. The plan would cost between US $75 and 100 billion. Just who would pay for it and where the lines would be cited however remains a question.

“We plan to work together to figure [citing] out. The idea is to bring everyone to table. I’ve been encouraged by the conversations that have occurred in the Midwest and obviously we haven’t got it figured out, but we could like to use some kind of process that is already in place to reach consensus. We’re trying to come up with a fair and equitable way to get this done. Its not the first time that regions of the country and certainly the nation have been forced to work together. I want to be clear, we embrace these types of challenges,” Gov. Culver said. “The key is communication, bringing people to the table and I think the story is that we’re doing that in an unprecedented way.”

Other recommendations from the coalition are laid out below.

  • Support coastal, deep water, and offshore technology and transmission R&D
  • Streamline permitting for both offshore and on-shore wind projects
  • Expand the DOE’s work with the states and the wind industry to accelerate innovation
  • Extend the Treasury Department Grant Program
  • Adopt a long-term production tax credit and broaden the pool of eligible investors

The recommendations fit well with those that the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has been pushing for for the past couple of years and they came out in support of the governors plans.

“The Governors’ recommendations to the President and to Congress show that there is a strong agreement that an interstate transmission infrastructure and Renewable Electricity Standard are needed and welcome from the point of view of the states and not just the national public interest,” said Denise Bode, AWEA’s CEO . “The Governors know this because they are on the front lines of the battle to attract manufacturing investment and create jobs, and they see that renewable energy development brings jobs to their states. States are also on the front lines in transmission planning—and in this document, the Governors make it clear that they look forward to working with the federal government to build new interstate high-voltage transmission lines to diversify our energy portfolio with renewable energy, improve the reliability of the nation’s power system, and contain electricity costs.”

To download a copy of the Governors Wind Coalition report, click here.

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