Delaware Residents Rally Behind Wind Power Plan

Delaware is considering three proposals for new environmentally-friendly power plants, and many residents are supporting a plan to build a large offshore wind farm. A recent survey showed that more than 80% of residents favored the wind farm option.

"The state is considering three bids: The wind farm, a natural-gas plant and a new-style coal plant that would use new technology to try to cut air pollution, including greenhouse-gas emissions."

"Lawmakers in Delaware decided to launch the competition last year after electricity prices spiked 60 percent. They emphasized that bids should use environmentally friendly technology."

"At first, it seemed like the coal plant had the inside track. State politicians were excited about using abundant coal in a cleaner way."

"But to a lot of people's surprise, the wind project has become a strong contender, in large part, because it appears to be very popular."

Meanwhile, the New York Times Reports that "building thousands of wind turbines would probably not reduce the pollutants that cause smog and acid rain, but it would slow the growth in emissions of heat-trapping gases, according to a study released Thursday by the National Academy of Sciences."

Full Story: Offshore Wind Proposal Gains Fans in Delaware



Wind Power and Air Pollution

Reference is made here to a New York Times article and a study saying that more use of wind power may not reduce air pollution. There are two important points that people should understand about this:

1) The reason is not that wind power does not displace fossil fuel emissions--it does. The reason is that the Clean Air Act allows a certain amount of pollution to be emitted each year (declining over time). Whether there is more or less wind power does not affect the amount allowed.

2) However, wind power does indirectly affect the Clean Air Act's "cap-and-trade" system. The more wind power is installed, the less expensive it is for power companies as a group to comply with the pollution limits. This in turn should make it easier for regulators and legislators to lower the limits over time.

Thomas O. Gray
American Wind Energy Association

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