Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency unveiled its first-ever effort to tackle carbon dioxide pollution from existing power plants, and thus limit the power sector’s contribution to global climate change. American wind power, along with our peers in the clean energy industry, is prepared to help achieve the nation’s low-carbon goals while keeping electricity affordable and reliable for all Americans.
These proven clean technologies will continue to drive economic development across the country, spurring job growth, attracting private investment, and revitalizing communities.
Through innovation that has led to dramatic decreases in cost, clean energy has flourished. Wind energy has driven up to $25 billion in private investment in a single year. The energy cost of solar panels has dropped as far as 60 percent. Biomass continues to make large strides, and waste-to-energy facilities have contributed over $5 billion to the U.S. economy.
Renewable energy sources continue to drive down costs and experience record levels of growth. Wind power supplied over 5 percent of U.S. electricity consumption in 2013, as solar, biomass, and waste-to-energy all gave stellar performances. Each of these pioneering industries offered their own take on today’s rule proposal:
“Reducing carbon pollution by deploying renewable energy will keep electricity affordable and reliable, create jobs, and support local economic development. Renewable energy technologies have become integral and reliable parts of the U.S. electricity supply. Meeting these regulations is very doable, and the U.S.-made renewable energy industries are ready to so affordably,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association.
“Wind, solar and other renewable, carbon-free energy sources are already helping states reduce their harmful carbon emissions – and there’s a lot more we can do,” said Rhone Resch, President and CEO of SEIA. “Today, there is a wide range of cost-effective options that states can consider to create a balanced energy portfolio and satisfy new requirements under Section 111 (d). These clean energy options can help regulators customize their approach in order to meet the particular circumstances and needs of their state. We look forward to working with them in the future.”
“The Energy Recovery Council applauds the Obama Administration on today’s announcement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants,” said Ted Michaels, President of the Energy Recovery Council. “ERC believes that renewable technologies, such as waste-to-energy, will help give states a variety options and strategies to meet its objectives. Waste-to-energy is a critical greenhouse gas mitigation tool relied on by the European Union to achieve GHG reductions, and with significant potential for further deployment in the U.S. According to the U.S. EPA, every ton of municipal solid waste processed at a waste-to-energy facility reduces lifecycle GHG emissions by one ton of carbon dioxide equivalents.”
“Biomass Power Association commends the Obama Administration for its strong commitment to reducing carbon emissions from existing power plants,” said Bob Cleaves, President and CEO of the Biomass Power Association. “This is an exciting time for renewable energy, especially the biomass industry. The National Climate Assessment released by the White House in May noted the potential for bioenergy to displace up to 30 percent of the nation’s current U.S. petroleum consumption, while improving forest health. As a reliable baseload power source that generates electricity around the clock, biomass is practical and adaptable – an excellent alternative or accompaniment to fossil fuels. Support for biomass is also support for rural economies; many of the jobs generated by biomass facilities are in the heavily forested, sparsely populated areas that need jobs the most.”
To learn more on how renewable technologies are reducing carbon emissions, please visit:
- AWEA’s “The Clean Air Benefits of Wind Energy”
- SEIA’s “Cutting Carbon Emissions Under 111d: the case for expanding solar energy in America”
- Center for American Progress, Matt Kasper: “Energy from Waste can Help Curb Greenhouse Gas Emissions”
- Biomass Power Association statement on National Climate Assessment Report, May 2014