Renewable energy is clearly the future
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Shout for joy all ye citizens, celebrate the trends for clean air and curbing greenhouse gas emissions that will keep us and the planet healthy. The figures are encouraging.
As reported by Ken Bossing, executive director of the SUN DAY Campaign, the January report by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reported that in January renewable sources of energy now account for 15.66 percent of total installed U.S. operating generating capacity: hydro, 8.50 percent; wind, 5.17 percent; biomass, 1.29 percent; solar, 0.38 percent; and geothermal, 0.32 percent.
The significant number for West Virginia is that by comparison, coal is now under 30 percent and continuing downward. Oil accounts for 3.54 percent of total operating generating capacity, nuclear for 9.23 percent, and natural gas for 42.37 percent and rising. (This is from ferc.gov/legal/staff-reports/2013/jan-energy-infrastructure.)
Now to be accurate, as Mr. Bossing points out, "Generating capacity is not the same as actual generation. Actual net electrical generation from renewable energy sources in the United States now totals about 13 percent, according to data provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration."
The January 2013 increase in renewable energy generating capacity coming on line is a three-fold increase over January 2012. One may argue that month may not be proof of a permanent trend, except it is yet another data point on a clear trend. The question the legislators ought to be asking is what are we doing to participate in this strong economic growth and job-creating trend, not, as the new West Virginia tea party AG seems to want, wasting tax dollars by chasing windmills to fight the federal government on Supreme Court supported action to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
Its time for the governor and the legislature to get serious about increasing incentives to accelerate the transition to renewable energy and create new clean safe jobs for the displaced miners that could be laid off as these trends continue. How about starting with a F.I.T. Program that has worked so exceptionally well everywhere it has been applied ... from Germany to Ontario to several states.
The future is clearly renewable energy ... are we willing to grab it or will our leadership keep their heads buried in the coal tipple?
Sheriffs have right to disobey laws