December 12, 2012
Ohio fastest growing state for wind power
A recent letter to the editor (“Wind power’s magic being overblown,” Nov. 30), provides misleading statistics regarding U.S. energy incentives, misstates the ease of integrating wind into the electricity grid, and ignores the benefits that the wind industry has already provided to Ohio.
First, all energy sources have government incentives; wind is no exception. However, historically, the federal support for the fossil fuel industry has been far greater than for renewables. In fact, according to a DBL Investors study, the federal commitment to oil and gas was five times greater than the federal commitment to renewables during the first 15 years of each set of incentives.
Second, U.S. and European energy markets are very different. European electricity rates are high primarily because of electricity taxes - not because of the use of renewables. Also, wind energy costs a great deal less here than in Europe, as our higher quality wind resources create between 30 percent and 100 percent greater wind energy output per turbine than in most European countries. Third, Ohio is part of a large regional transmission grid called PJM that has already reliably integrated wind energy into its system and does not require wind to be “backed-up” by coal plants.
Finally, Ohio was the fastest growing state for new wind power installations in 2011. Many of those new installations were driven by the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC), which has helped contribute to the revitalization of Ohio’s manufacturing base. Now over 50 companies in Ohio create components for the wind industry, supporting up to 6,000 jobs.
In short, to save Ohio jobs and keep Ohio energy prices low, the PTC must be extended.
— Bruce Burcat, Executive Director Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition, Camden, DE