Wind energy a major solution under Clean Power Plan

Wind can supply majority of new clean power needed most cost-effectively, according to EIA

August 3, 2015

Washington, D.C., August 3, 2015 — Wind energy can provide a majority of the clean power that states will need to comply with the government’s new rule to reduce carbon pollution from electric power plants, U.S. industry leaders said today, and it can save consumers money doing so.

“American wind power can do this,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. “Low-cost wind energy reduced carbon emissions by five percent in 2014, and we’re capable of doing a lot more. We can build a more diverse, reliable, cleaner energy mix for America, while creating jobs and keeping money in consumers’ pockets.

“We are pleased to see the administration responded to the comments we and others made, that renewables are ready to serve,” Kiernan added. “The Clean Energy Incentive Program holds promise as a way to encourage states to move forward well before 2022, we look forward to the opportunity the EPA is providing to comment on the details. We know wind energy is a solution that works, and we’re ready to meet this challenge.”

The final rule of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan will be announced today after over a year of comments. It’s expected to call for reducing carbon emissions 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. Wind energy can supply the majority of the lowest-cost Clean Power Plan compliance mix, according to recent economic analysis by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Here is how other leaders in the U.S. wind energy industry reacted on Monday:

  • Mike Garland, AWEA Board Chair and President and CEO of Pattern Energy: “This is a win-win for our environment and the economy. The best deal for consumers will be to get the majority of the new clean power we need from the wind. Iowa and South Dakota already generate nearly 30 percent of their electricity year-round from wind. And wind represents true energy abundance, because it will never run out.”
  • Paul Gaynor, Executive Vice President of SunEdison for EMEA and Americas, and AWEA board member: “The Clean Power Plan presents an important opportunity to create thousands of jobs, save customers money, and improve reliability of our electrical system. This isn’t about politics – it’s about economic opportunity for all Americans, and cost savings for everyone.”
  • Patrick Woodson, Chairman, E.ON North America: “The Clean Power Plan finally gives the electric industry certainty while stimulating a surge of clean energy resources that will create jobs and secure America’s energy independence. As generators, we need to quickly take the initiative to work towards a cleaner future so that we are not standing around like dinosaurs watching meteors.”
  • Mike Storch, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Enel Green Power North America: "Across the country, states have already seen firsthand how wind energy can provide low cost, reliable, clean energy to their generation mix. Not only does wind provide direct savings to ratepayers, but it also creates direct, long-term, sustainable support and benefits to local communities. As states look to attract large capital investments to their economies, wind can play a critical role in achieving economic growth, while also guarding against costs associated with harmful pollutants."
  • John Purcell, Vice President, Energy Division, Leeco Steel: "Leeco Steel is pleased that wind energy is part of the Clean Power Plan. Wind energy is an integral part of the collective solution for diverse, stable and home-grown energy solutions. And if this initiative is supported by a multi-year extension of the PTC, we can help bridge the gap between today and the 2022 compliance goal; allowing the wind turbine OEMs to bring another technology cycle to the fore, helping wind become increasingly competitive with other commercial scale electricity generation solutions. As modern wind technologies are introduced, more manufacturing companies in the heart of America can keep people working. We all benefit."

For all of the latest information wind power and the Clean Power Plan, visit www.awea.org/cleanpowerplan.  

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AWEA is the national trade association of the U.S. wind energy industry, with 1,000 member companies, including global leaders in wind power and energy development, wind turbine manufacturing, component and service suppliers, and the world's largest wind power trade show, the AWEA WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition, which takes place next in New Orleans, May 23-26, 2016. AWEA is the voice of wind energy in the U.S., promoting renewable energy to power a cleaner, stronger America. Look up information on wind energy at the AWEA website. Find insight on industry issues at AWEA's blog Into the Wind. Join AWEA on Facebook. Follow AWEA on Twitter.

AWEA is the national trade association of the U.S. wind energy industry. We represent 1,000 member companies and over 100,000 jobs in the U.S. economy, serving as a powerful voice for how wind works for America. Members include global leaders in wind power and energy development, turbine manufacturing, and component and service suppliers. They gather each year at the Western Hemisphere’s largest wind power trade show, the AWEA WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition, next in Chicago, Illinois, May 7-10, 2018. Find information about wind energy on the AWEA website. Gain insight into industry issues on AWEA's blog, Into the Wind. And please join us on Facebook, and follow @AWEA on Twitter.