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Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a tremendous underachiever when it comes to wind power

Contrary to what Governor Rendell and the press would have you believe, Pennsylvania needs to get its act together on wind power production. I've spent some time doing some research on the wind power installations in PA, the wind projects currently under construction, and the potential for wind power here in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is currently generation roughly 3.5% of their potential, and when current wind installations are completed that figure will climb to a measly 5.7%. Of all renewable sources, wind power is the most cost competitive with conventional electricity sources. So what gives? The key suspects are corporate interests groups for the coal and electric industries. These groups have zero motivation to have the state move towards more renewable power sources, even a state and/or federal mandate for renewable energy production gives these companies 20 or more years until they have to act. Until we get leaders in Harrisburg who put our health and well being over the corporate interests, expect to see our state reach its wind energy potential 30 years from now.

PA Wind Power Summary:

Total installed = 179 MW
Under construction = 115 MW*

PA's Wind Energy Potential:
Average Power Output (MW): 5,120
Annual kWh: 45 Billion
Rank in US: 22nd

source: American Wind Energy Association

As you can see by the graphic below, PA is doing good when compared to other states that are not doing much with wind, but Pennsylvania is far behind the renewable energy leaders California and Texas. PA is currently contributing to 1.4% of the total wind power output of the United States, which is pretty sorry when you read reports stating that our state alone contributes around one percent of the world wide emissions that are the cause of global warming. I'm not trying to be an alarmist, but I want our political leaders to stop trying to pull the wool over our eyes when they are touting Pennsylvania's green standing. We are a dirty state. We are getting better but there is a lot of work to do so let's get on it.

US Wind Power Production by State, as of June 2007

Click here for a detailed map of Pennsylvania's wind potential

KWh by State

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