SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Wind Potential in the Southeast
Wind energy is a clean renewable source of energy without the huge environmental and health problems associated with how we generate electricity today. Wind energy has also proven to be a great economic boom to poor rural areas, bringing good jobs and economic benefits. Modern wind turbines are quiet, efficient and graceful and have become very popular in places where they have been developed. The Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, American Wind Energy Association and other nationally renowned experts conducted in-depth analysis of the impacts of wind energy on the United States electric system, environment, businesses, ratepayers, and local communities, and concluded it would be beneficial to all parties if the United States were to adopt 20% wind energy by 2030.
Wind Energy Potential in the Southeast
The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy continually tracks, researches, and analyzes the latest data available regarding renewable energy resources in the Southeast. Our review of eleven Southeastern states indicates that local energy resources are sufficient to fulfill an aggressive national mandate for renewable energy.
Wind energy costs have continued to fall. Wind energy is a global market and in order to grow domestically, federal policies that spotlight the United States’ dedication to a renewable energy future are needed.
Long-Term, Full-Credit Production Tax Credit Extension:
According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), “The renewable energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) provides a 2.1 cents/kWh incentive for the production of electricity from utility-scale wind turbines. The credit has been critical in promoting the wind industry’s growth since its establishment in 1992. The U.S. is now the world’s largest wind energy producer, and components are increasingly being produced in the United States. Since the beginning of 2008, over 40 manufacturing facilities have been opened, expanded or announced in the U.S., and will have created more than 9,000 jobs when at full capacity. Yet, the federal government’s short-term extensions of the PTC are a hindrance to project development and domestic investment in manufacturing. Congress must pass a multi-year extension of current PTC legislation in order to foster a clean energy economy in America.” To learn more about the PTC from AWEA, please visit www.awea.org
Renewable Electricity Standard:
The renewable electricity standard (RES), also known as a renewable portfolio standard (RPS), uses market mechanisms to ensure that a growing percentage of electricity is produced from renewable sources, like wind power. The RES provides a predictable, competitive market, within which renewable generators will compete with each other to lower prices. RES policies can exist at the state and federal levels. A RES creates a free market for renewable energy sources, and picks no winners or losers. The Southeast is blessed with abundant renewable energy resources, and could meet a federal RES.