Wind Energy Industry Lobbies for Higher Mandate

John Davis

Last year was a big year for growth in the American wind energy field, as the U.S. added more than 8,300 megawatts of capacity in 2008… a record year!

This article in the Des Moines (IA) Register says officials with the industry, along with a governor from a state that is really making headways in wind energy, were on Capitol Hill to warn Congress that the current proposed legislation doesn’t support the same continued growth:

A bill approved by a House committee last month and another under consideration in the Senate would require utilities to get a certain percentage of their power from renewable sources starting in 2012, but the targets are well below what the wind power industry wanted.

The Senate version would start at 3 percent in 2012 while the House bill would begin at 6 percent, and both could be lowered through energy efficiency measures.

chetculverIowa Gov. Chet Culver joined industry representatives Thursday in meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to urge them to enact higher mandates. “The number does matter,” Culver said later.

To maintain the level of construction in the wind power industry last year – about 8,500 megawatts – the mandate would have to start at 10 percent in 2012, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

House and Senate leaders agree they would like to see the higher mandate but don’t think that 10 percent level would make it through Congress. Lawmakers from southern states that don’t have as much wind potential are seen as the biggest roadblocks.

Government, Legislation, Wind