Testifying before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, GE Vice Chair and Energy Infrastructure President and CEO John Krenicki called for any federal renewable energy standard (RES) passed this year to be significantly stronger than proposals that are now on the table.
‘Massive new investments in manufacturing will not be made in the U.S. today based on the hope of a strong carbon price signal 10 years from now,’ says Krenicki. ‘It would take a 12% renewable electricity standard by 2012, with reasonable percentages to be satisfied by energy efficiency measures, to enable U.S. wind deployments to continue on the current growth trajectory. Such a standard would also help drive dollars to small companies and developers waiting for stimulus checks to begin rolling out and help sustain a domestic industry that cannot wait for longer-term carbon legislation to come into effect.’
The American Wind Energy Association warns that both Europe and China have publicly committed to strong renewable energy policies in the near term. The European Union's Renewable Energy Directive commits member nations to an average of 25% renewables between 2011 and 2012.
China has doubled its wind power capacity in each of the last four years, and expects to have 30,000 MW of wind installed by the end of 2010 – 10 years ahead of a target set last year. The U.S. currently has over 28,000 MW of wind power capacity.
‘A strong RES is a pro-jobs policy that we can't afford to pass up,’ says Parthiv Amin, President of Winergy, a company based in Illinois that manufactures gearboxes for wind turbines. ‘A robust RES would send a clear signal in the U.S. market, and would unleash a wave of investment and job creation in our domestic manufacturing base.’
The Senate is currently holding hearings on climate and energy legislation and is expected to mark up legislation in September. The House passed its version of the bill, the American Clean Energy and Security Act, late last month.
SOURCE: American Wind Energy Association