EDITORS: US wind power - blown away by the competition


Today an illuminating wind power story turned up in the Argus Leader, a paper out of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The economically-depressed region is struggling to get its wind power business up and blowing, but transporting the energy produced from its strong gusts is proving difficult. Not because of infrastructure, but due to squabbling power companies who use different criteria for calculating energy rates. As a result, using the transmission lines to move wind power to more populated regions in the east costs twice as much.

 

Last week there was more wind news. We learned that the federal Minerals Management Service granted preliminary approval of Cape Wind, a contentious proposal for an offshore wind farm in Nantucket Sound. Despite the MMS finding that the project would cause no environmental harm, there’s bound to be a battle ahead.  Since the project’s inception property owners have opposed it for aesthetic reasons. A Providence Journal editorial does a nice job of summarizing.

Meanwhile, there’s been exciting breakthroughs with great implications for wind power coming out of the EU. The European Commission put forth a package to reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions to at least 20% below 1990 levels by 2020 and increasing its share of renewable energy use to 20% by 2020.

So, the trend seemingly continues. The US putters around with alternative energy policy and approval while the EU speeds ahead. But it doesn’t have to be so. If you want to learn more about what the US can and should do to pick up the pace, check out our In Depth interview tomorrow with the Executive Director of the American Wind Energy Association, Randy Swisher.

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