U.S. wind power can help states affordably and reliably comply with the pending Clean Power Plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants, according to a release from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
AWEA – using data from the nonpartisan Energy Information Administration (EIA) – explains that wind energy is among the best methods to comply with the Clean Power Plan, the sweeping initiative put forth by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.
‘Wind accounts for 57 percent of the optimal energy mix to comply with the Clean Power Plan, according to the EIA,’ explains Michael Goggin, senior director of research for AWEA. ‘Thanks to its combination of low cost and zero emissions, wind energy has the largest role in cost-effectively meeting the carbon rule.’
According to AWEA, the EIA's analysis is likely conservative regarding the wind energy opportunity, as the EIA did not account for recent and continuing reductions in the cost of wind energy or technological advances that have opened up new regions to wind plant development.
As further evidence, AWEA cites the recent Clean Power Plan analysis from Navigant, which also found wind energy to be among the lowest-cost compliance solutions.
The data is particularly noteworthy because the EPA is expected to release the Clean Power Plan rules as soon as Aug. 3. The draft plan released in June 2014 proposed to cut national power sector carbon emissions by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030.
Once the rule is released, AWEA says it will work with the Solar Energy Industries Association to update its Clean Power Plan handbook, which was first published in March.