Wind energy a major solution under Clean Power Plan

The much-anticipated Clean Power Plan is set to be released today when the President is expected to give remarks about the rule at the White House.

While many are wondering how we are going to be able to meet this ambitious goal being set up by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the good news is wind energy can reliably provide a majority of the clean power that states will need to comply with the government’s new rule to reduce carbon pollution from electric power plants – and it can save consumers money doing so. That’s because according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) wind energy can supply the majority of the lowest-cost Clean Power Plan compliance mix.

“American wind power can do this,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) in a press release issued by AWEA today. “Low-cost wind energy reduced carbon emissions by five percent in 2014, and we’re capable of doing a lot more. We can build a more diverse, reliable, cleaner energy mix for America, while creating jobs and keeping money in consumers’ pockets.

“We are pleased to see the administration responded to the comments we and others made, that renewables are ready to serve,” Kiernan added. “The Clean Energy Incentive Program holds promise as a way to encourage states to move forward well before 2022, we look forward to the opportunity the EPA is providing to comment on the details. We know wind energy is a solution that works, and we’re ready to meet this challenge.”

Kiernan even shared some exciting news about his whereabouts when the President plans to announce the clean air rule.

That’s right. Kiernan will personally be at the White House to hear the announced final rule after over a year of comments.

While they won’t be there in person to join Tom at the White House, here is how other leaders in the U.S. wind energy industry reacted on Monday:

  • Mike Garland, AWEA Board Chair and President and CEO of Pattern Energy: “This is a win-win for our environment and the economy. The best deal for consumers will be to get the majority of the new clean power we need from the wind. Iowa and South Dakota already generate nearly 30 percent of their electricity year-round from wind. And wind represents true energy abundance, because it will never run out.”
  • Paul Gaynor, Executive Vice President of SunEdison for EMEA and Americas, and AWEA board member: “The Clean Power Plan presents an important opportunity to create thousands of jobs, save customers money, and improve reliability of our electrical system. This isn’t about politics – it’s about economic opportunity for all Americans, and cost savings for everyone.”
  • Patrick Woodson, Chairman, E.ON North America: “The Clean Power Plan finally gives the electric industry certainty while stimulating a surge of clean energy resources that will create jobs and secure America’s energy independence. As generators, we need to quickly take the initiative to work towards a cleaner future so that we are not standing around like dinosaurs watching meteors.”
  • Mike Storch, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Enel Green Power North America: “Across the country, states have already seen firsthand how wind energy can provide low cost, reliable, clean energy to their generation mix. Not only does wind provide direct savings to ratepayers, but it also creates direct, long-term, sustainable support and benefits to local communities. As states look to attract large capital investments to their economies, wind can play a critical role in achieving economic growth, while also guarding against costs associated with harmful pollutants.”
  • John Purcell, Vice President, Energy Division, Leeco Steel: “Leeco Steel is pleased that wind energy is part of the Clean Power Plan. Wind energy is an integral part of the collective solution for diverse, stable and home-grown energy solutions. And if this initiative is supported by a multi-year extension of the PTC, we can help bridge the gap between today and the 2022 compliance goal; allowing the wind turbine OEMs to bring another technology cycle to the fore, helping wind become increasingly competitive with other commercial scale electricity generation solutions. As modern wind technologies are introduced, more manufacturing companies in the heart of America can keep people working. We all benefit.”

The rule is expected to call for reducing carbon emissions 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

To hear and learn more about wind energy and the Clean Power Plan, visit

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