ST. PAUL, MINN., (June 2, 2014) –
Today, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its proposed
rule that will limit the amount of carbon dioxide pollution that can be emitted
from existing power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. Using the EPA guidance, states will develop
State Implementation Plans (SIPs) that will be submitted to EPA by June 30,
The draft rule will not only
reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but accelerate the move toward additional renewables.
Wind energy is rapidly-scalable and has zero emissions, making it the cleanest
source of low-cost utility-scale electricity production available today.
“We see this new rule as a key
driver for additional renewable energy development in the Midwest,” said Wind
on the Wires Executive Director Beth Soholt.
“Wind energy is already helping many states in the Midwest reduce carbon
pollution in an affordable, reliable manner. As states consider their options for
complying with the new rule, wind developers stand ready to make more capital investments, which will
benefit local communities with jobs and economic development opportunities in
addition to the benefits of its zero carbon emissions.”
According to the American Wind
Energy Association (AWEA), in the Upper Midwest, wind energy has provided more
than 80% of all new electric generating capacity from 2011-2013. In Michigan,
wind provides 2.4% of the state’s electricity needs, or enough to power more
than 325,000 average Michigan homes. Based
on data reported in AWEA’s
May 2014 report, wind energy has reduced electric sector carbon dioxide
emissions in Michigan by 1.65%. The use
of wind energy directly correlates to reduced emissions because of wind
energy’s low operating cost (and zero emissions) it is often used to offset
power plants with the highest operating costs, which are usually the least
efficient fossil fuel-fired plants.
“Several states are already
considering increasing their Renewable Energy Standards, which in turn can help
meet the requirements under the draft rule,” said Soholt. “Wind power costs
have dropped 43% in just four years, and the states with the most wind energy are
actually saving money on their electric bills.
That’s the silver lining.”
About Wind on
Wind on the Wires is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
organization based in St. Paul, Minn., which is comprised of wind developers,
environmental organizations, tribal representatives, public interest groups,
clean energy advocates, farm groups and businesses providing goods and services
to the wind industry. Our mission is to overcome the barriers to bringing wind
energy to market by addressing technical and regulatory issues, as well as
through education and public outreach.