This wind newsletter was originally published on June 22, 2018.
New Documentary Shows How Renewable Energy Helps Communities
A new documentary, “Reinventing Power: America’s Renewable Energy Boom,” features Americans from all walks of life explaining how wind and solar development have improved their lives and benefitted their communities.
In the documentary, Chris Bruce, a Michigan auto industry veteran, tells the story of how he found a new career and greater economic opportunity in wind turbine development after losing his automotive job. “People are going through the same struggle [and are] trying to find a new niche,” he said, and wind development gives them opportunities.
Bryan Wilson of Deepwater Wind explains how he found an opportunity for a new career in wind energy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “employment of wind turbine service technicians is projected to grow 96% from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.”
Steve Harris, a farmer who has leased some of his land for wind development, explains how investing in wind gives farmers security. “The wind is always blowing,” Harris says in the documentary. The benefits to farmers make wind especially successful in rural areas. According to the American Wind Energy Association, five states get over a quarter of their electricity from wind – all of which are predominately rural states: Iowa gests nearly 37% of its electricity from wind, Kansas gets 86%, Oklahoma gets nearly 32%, South Dakota gets 31% and North Dakota gets nearly 27%.
“American wind power reached new heights for energy generated and U.S. jobs in 2017. And don’t be surprised when the industry continues to break records,” said Tom Kiernan, AWEA’s CEO, said in a statement.
- Anti-wind activists are vocal in rural Midwest communities and are continuing to draw crowds in Michigan and Ohio. At these meetings, citizens are presented with misinformation on wind energy, which can stall and even curtail proposed wind projects.
- MSU Extension put together a summary of DTE Energy and Consumers Energy’s commitments to 25% renewable energy by 2030 which you can read here (part 1) and here (part 2). Wind plays a leading role in both utilities’ plans.
- Consumers Energy proposed a long-term plan to end coal in Michigan and increase its investment in renewables.
- A U.S. House committee will debate a bill to encourage offshore wind development in federal waters.
Across the Country
- Bloomberg New Energy Financepredicts that wind and solar will make up nearly half of global electricity generation by 2050 due to cost reductions and cheaper, more powerful batteries.
- Voxexplores why wind energy growth has been lopsided in the United States.
- Wind power purchase agreements hit 3,500 MW in the first quarter of 2018, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
- Longer duration batteries could help make wind-plus-storage projects more feasible.
- MidAmerican Energy Company in Iowa will be the first investor-owned utilities to create enough wind energy to cover 100% of consumer use.
- Alliant Energy will buy a 150 MW wind project from Michigan EIBC member company Invenergy in Iowa.
- In southern Minnesota, the Center of the American Experiment – a think tank known for peddling conspiracy theories – has liked I-35 with billboards displaying the message, “Wind energy is NOT the answer” and referencing a report on the “evils” of wind power.
Events to Watch
The 2018 Renewable Energy Conference: A Leadership Forum on Energy Policy, in Poughkeepsie, New York, June 26-27, features topics including emerging technologies, energy policy, and profitability. Don’t miss the premier renewable energy conference on the East Coast! Register here.
Registration is open for the TransGrid-X 2030 Symposium, July 26, in Ames, Iowa. The event will showcase the long-awaited NREL Seam Study — a concept featuring bi-directional high-voltage transmission; 600 GW of wind, solar and gas-fired generation; and a trillion-dollar economic event, if fully built.
EUCI invites you to the Retooling PURPA conference on August 20-21 in Atlanta, Georgia. Register here.
EUCI invites you to Renewable Energy 101, September 10-11, in Chicago, Illinois. Register here.
EUCI invites you to the “Land Lease Agreements for Renewable Energy 101” conference on September 13-14, in Austin, Texas. Register here.