Letter: The case for wind power

June 30, 2014 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Renewables such as wind power contribute to a more diverse, reliable grid.

In his recent column (Monitor Forum, June 18), V.K. Mathur misrepresents wind power’s ability to keep the lights on, and do so affordably.

During last winter’s cold snaps, when record demand for electricity and natural gas drove power prices upward, wind energy repeatedly stepped in to provide much-needed power to the grid. Requiring no fuel to generate electricity, and with power prices that are locked in for 20 years or more, wind helps avoid any unpleasant surprises on their power bills.

State renewable portfolio standards are critical for both diversifying our energy mix and reducing pollution, with wind energy cutting carbon pollution by 126 million short tons last year alone.

The New England independent grid operator’s wind integration study found that obtaining 20 percent of the region’s electricity from wind would cut total electric sector carbon pollution by 25 percent, and also drive regional electricity prices down by more than 10 percent.

Contrary to Mathur’s false claims about emissions and price trends in Germany, electric rates there have been high for decades and the addition of renewable energy has had a small net impact on rates as the cost of renewables is largely offset by the economic savings they provide.

Wind energy has drastically reduced pollution across Europe, with Europe’s wind leaders cutting by around half the amount of carbon pollution emitted per amount of electricity produced over the last decade, and more than 10 percent in Germany.

MICHAEL GOGGIN

Washington, D.C.

(The writer is director of research for the American Wind Energy Association.)

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