Utah wind power poised to increase

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  • aweapeebles washington, DC
    April 21, 2014 2:12 p.m.

    Utah’s willingness to develop more wind power without a statewide renewables policy highlights its competitiveness, and it is exciting to see the state taking its energy future into its own hands.

    Wind provided over 4 percent of the country’s electricity in 2013. With smart policies in place, that number can reach 20 percent by 2030.

    The Production Tax Credit for wind power is a valuable incentive that helps wind energy to compete with traditional, well-established energy sources. We should urge Congress to expedite its renewal. Wind power, with the help of the PTC, has dropped in cost 43 percent in just four years. Clean, reliable, and affordable, wind power is a smart piece of our energy future.

    And wind power provides thousands of Americans with well-paying jobs. However, the on-again, off-again nature of the PTC must be resolved before businesses are able to plan for the long term. Each time the PTC is allowed to expire, jobs are threatened.

    We should extend this valuable incentive so that wind power can continue to work for people across the entire country, driving our economy and preserving the environment.

    Peebles Squire

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    April 19, 2014 5:34 a.m.

    "Utah does not have a renewable energy standard, but a "goal" to get to 20 percent by 2025."

    About 30 other states of renewable energy standards (RES), including may red states -- Iowa, Texas, Kansas, etc.

    I hear Utah legislators say "let the free market" drive renewable energy if it is truly cost-effective; "markets over mandates" they say. But the problem is that electricity is NOT a free market. Consumers have no way to buy cleaner, price stable electricity. Thus, we are stuck with big utility monopolies that own coal-generation infrastructure that "force" us to buy it rather than transition to clean, carbon-free, and price stable resources for their consumers.

    Here's where the risk is for Utahns. Carbon taxes and "adders" (extra costs for carbon pollution and restrictions) are looming large for Utah ratepayers. The more carbon-based resources in our electricity mix, the higher the cost risk for Utahns. Sadly, our utility monopolies will be able to simply pass those costs to us because we lack choice. Texas and Iowa will be better protected because so much of their electricity is carbon-free and price stable.

    Utah should follow other conservative red states and adopt RES.