In arguing for the Renewable Electricity Standard, we at AWEA try to explain how a national renewable target will help create the right policy environment that companies need to make investment decisions. But it's better to listen to the companies that will be making the decisions. Here's a statement from Lew Hay, chairman of FPL Group:
A renewable energy standard that requires power providers to get a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable sources will give the renewables industry certainty. In the electric power sector, we make capital decisions with a 30-year time horizon. We can't spend billions of dollars to build a clean-energy economy without confidence that demand for low-carbon power will remain strong.
Hay noted that about two-thirds of the Recovery Act funds for wind energy development went to non-US firms that are building wind projects in the United States.
His response was not to gripe about foreign firms but suggest that U.S. policies need some heft. “What troubles me is the lack of urgency on the part of U.S. policymakers in ensuring that America remains competitive in the renewable energy sector,” he said.
Vic Abate, , vice president, renewable energy for GE Power & Water, made a similar argument today at a dedication of GE's new Renewable Energy headquarters.
“The establishment of a federal renewable electricity standard (RES) with strong, near term goals, would provide the stability and support needed to encourage investors and drive growth in the U.S. wind industry,” he said. “This ongoing growth would continue the momentum experienced by the industry over the last several years, creating needed U.S. manufacturing jobs.”
Abate urged Congress to pass a comprehensive energy and climate bill that could help create jobs and make America energy independent. “If our elected officials, the public and the energy industry work together, the U.S. can provide the global leadership needed to solve the world’s clean energy challenges and create American jobs,” Abate said.
Let's hope some of the policymakers are listening.