FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Jessie Mehrhoff, Jessie@environmentamerica.org, (860) 428-8050
Baltimore, MD – Carbon pollution equal to that produced by as many as 53,000 cars could be eliminated by 2020 with a moderate growth in wind power in the state, a new report from Environment Maryland Research & Policy Center said today. Speeding development of offshore wind, for which the state has vast potential, could cut even more pollution.
Using data from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the report shows that as much as 525 MW of wind power could be built in the state in the next five years with the right policies in place, enough to power over 29,000 homes.
“Wind power here in Maryland can grow steadily, reducing pollution and helping to solve the climate crisis,” said Jessie Mehrhoff, Lead Organizer with Environment Maryland. “But we need government policies to provide steady support for this clean energy resource to build our momentum in the fight against global warming.”
The report, Turning to the Wind, comes as state officials determine how to comply with the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of President Obama’s Climate Action that sets state-by-state limits on carbon pollution from power plants and encourages clean energy development. It also comes as leaders in Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states, including Maryland, begin review of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
“While photovoltaic systems are the fastest growing segment of the renewable energy market, small wind (10kw or less) and bio-mass systems can make significant contributions to decentralized, residential power systems,” remarked Ryk Lesser, Owner of Green Energy Systems. “We see the three systems as the stable foundation of energy independence for the noncommercial consumer market.”
The analysis is also timed with what’s become an annual tradition in Congress: waiting until the last minute to renew critical tax incentives for clean energy. The credits, which have helped spur wind power’s growth over the last two decades, expired at the end of last year, and any measure to reinstate them must be adopted before Congress adjourns for the year on December 18.
“Renewing tax credits for pollution-free energy will help sustain green jobs in Maryland and reduce climate-changing carbon pollution,” said Mehrhoff. “It’s critical for the future of our economy and our planet that Congress take action in the next seven days.”
Wind power produced across the U.S. since 2001 has displaced more than 764 million metric tons of carbon dioxide – more than a year’s worth of carbon emissions from the entire country of Canada.
As world leaders meet in Paris to hammer out an international agreement to slash climate-changing emissions, environmental advocates said wind power should play a critical role.
“To avoid the worst impacts of global warming, we need to transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy,” said Mehrhoff, “and that must include doing everything we can to develop abundant, pollution-free wind power.”
Environment Maryland Research & Policy Center is statewide advocacy organization bringing people together for a cleaner, greener, healthier future.