From Green Right Now Reports
While there is no shortage of hot air swirling around various plans to harness wind energy to power our homes and businesses, a group of United States governors has hammered out a plan and is ready to take it all the way to the top.
On Tuesday, Iowa Governor Chet Culver and Rhode Island Governor Donald L. Carcieri released Great Expectations: U.S. Wind Energy Development, the Governorsâ€™ Wind Energy Coalitionâ€™s 2010 Recommendations. Culver and Carcieri are the chair and vice chair of the 29-state organization, which is attempting to shape a national policy to make wind power both viable and cost-effective.
The group formed over a year ago and began work on recommendations in December. The next step: Lobbying efforts to get a bill into Congress and on to President Barack Obamaâ€™s desk as soon as possible.
â€śWe need all the clean and cost-effective resources we can generate. And we will only get there if we work together,â€ť Culver said during a press conference called in conjunction with the report’s release. â€śContinued uncertainty will potentially cause the nation to surrender the industry to other countries. If China gets the job of supplying the U.S. wind industry, (jobs) could be lost forever.
â€śThe good news is that we have increased wind generation dramatically over the past few years, but continued growth hinges on a more stable market. Given the immense advantages wind power provides to industry, consumers and the environment, it is clear that Congress must pass a strong federal renewable electricity policy so investors, developers and state policy makers are working together to achieve a common goal.â€ť
Among the recommendations in the report:
- Adopt a renewable electricity standard (Known asÂ a RES, it sets benchmarks for the nation to reach a certain level of clean energy production by specific dates. Many believe that having a strong RES is the only way that clean energy technology can promise lenders and investors a measure of security, to show that the industry will not be buffeted by politics in the coming years.)
- Develop new interstate electric transmission system infrastructure as needed to provide access to premier renewable energy resources both on-shore and offshore
- Fully support coastal, deep water, and offshore wind energy technology and transmission research and development
- Streamline permitting processes for both offshore and on-shore wind energy development projects
- Expand the U.S. Department of Energyâ€™s work with the states and the wind industry to accelerate innovation
- Extend the Treasury Department Grant Program in lieu of the Investment Tax Credit — providing immediate capital, and adopt a long-term renewable energy production tax credit with provisions to broaden the pool of eligible investors
â€śThese recommendations could not be more timely,â€ť Carcieri said. â€śCongressional action on the energy bill seems to have stalled. It is our hope that these recommendations â€” and the national bipartisan consensus they represent â€” will advance the energy deliberations now under way in Congress.â€ť