Monday, December 07, 2009

Jack Markell on Renewable Energy

Last week, Jack Markell presented his thinking on renewable energy to the American Wind Energy Association conference in Boston. After mentioning the need to reduce energy imports and reduce carbon emissions, Markell turns to the wind energy resource off our shores:
Countless studies and reports have shown that the U.S. has sufficient renewable resources to provide much of the energy needs of this nation. Too often these conversations have focused on wind in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain states, solar in the Southwest, geothermal in the west, or smaller distributed solutions.
The problem with this analysis is that a vast amount of our nation’s electricity consumption is on the East Coast—a region previously believed to lack a utility-scale renewable solution. We have half of the population of the nation. We pay some of the highest energy prices. We have a congested grid. We have some of the worst air quality. Our rates of asthma and lung disease are higher than other regions and we emit more greenhouse gases… and we are also in the midst of the most severe economic downturn in generations. We need an energy solution that works for the East Coast—and one that can be developed rapidly.
Markell pointed out that this wind resource is aligned with the concentration of population and industry along the East Coast, a point that wind power advocates have noted repeatedly. He noted that an offshore transmission backbone may help deliver offshore wind power to the grid.
Aaron Nathans of the News Journal reported on this idea yesterday.
Markell referred to the policy he set for including externalities such as health and environmental costs in energy planning. He also mentioned joint action among East Coast governors to push for rapid review and approval for offshore wind projects and incorporating them into the grid:

Last month, I was proud to coordinate with my colleagues Governors O’Malley, Kaine, and Corzine to submit comments to FERC [Federal Energy Regulatory Commission], the first that FERC has received to specifically request directing PJM to begin planning for the renewable energy transmission infrastructure necessary for offshore wind.
Markell covers a lot of ground in the speech; to get the big picture, read it for yourself.


Anonymous kavips said...

Markell's comments were vaguely familiar... Where have we heard them before?

7:26 PM, December 07, 2009  

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