The carbon pollution from approximately nine coal plants could be eliminated in New York if wind power supplied 30 percent of the nation’s electricity needs, according to a new analysis by Environment New York.
The analysis comes just as Congress considers whether to renew tax credits critical to wind development.
“Wind power can replace the dirty energy sources of the past and the pollution that comes with them,” said Heather Leibowitz, director of Environment New York. “But we need to act now to ensure a clean energy future.”
Continued, rapid development of wind energy would allow the renewable resource to supply 30 percent of the nation’s electricity by 2030, providing more than enough carbon reductions to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan.
“This report helps validate our effort to fight for the Clean Power Plan and support the development of wind power in New York State,” said Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel.
Wind power projects in areas such as Upstate and Western New York already produced enough energy in 2013 to power 326,380 homes. The analysis predicts that offshore wind will expand significantly in New York over the next 15 years, producing enough power for 5,350,226 million homes.
The report, More Wind, Less Warming, comes just two weeks before the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) makes a decision on a proposal submitted by the company Deepwater Wind for an offshore wind farm 30 miles from Montauk Point. This is a tremendous opportunity to generate clean and renewable energy.
“Offshore wind farms like our Deepwater ONE project represent Long Island’s largest and most cost-effective source of renewable energy, which can significantly reduce the area’s dependences on fossil fuels,” said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski. “By capturing wind energy ‘over the horizon,’ we can displace tons of carbon emissions each year, stabilize energy costs, and launch a new clean-tech industry with jobs for hundreds of local workers.”
“Offshore wind power is not only a clean and abundant energy source for our nation but presents a tremendous economic opportunity for Long Island and New York State by creating jobs, building a new industry and keeping more of our energy dollars in the regional economy”, said Gordian Raacke, Executive Director of Renewable Energy Long Island.
“Wind power holds enormous promise for combatting global warming,” said Leibowitz. “We just need the right policies in place to boost wind power and transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy.”
The analysis also comes after announcements just last month of new wind-power projects in Chautauqua and Franklin counties. However, New York’s renewable energy standard, which has been central to the development of these wind energy projects, is currently slated to expire next year.
“Harnessing wind power is a primary component in the fight for a sustainable planet and to end global warming,” said Assemblyman Frank Skartados. “The report from Environment New York will help the state to recognize the potential wind generation has and its importance in our environment and the economy. This information is especially valuable to know while the debate surrounding the environmentally risky practice of hyrofracking for gas energy is being waged in the State Legislature.”
“This report shows that the benefits of wind power are already very substantial in New York State,” said Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi of Utica. “Wind power production clearly is a very significant way for New Yorkers to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels through the use of a renewable, clean energy source.”
America has the potential to power itself 10 times over with wind that blows both over land and off the East Coast. Offshore wind development, which is in its very nascent stages in the U.S., is critical to achieving the 30 percent target, the report said.
“Speeding the development of pollution-free wind energy will slow global warming,” said Leibowitz. “That’s why our leaders should invest now in healthy air and a healthy planet.”