Library filed under Energy Policy from Pennsylvania
The state Public Utility Commission yesterday picked a California company to monitor compliance with a 2004 state law that requires electric utilities to purchase a certain amount of renewable energy. Clean Power Markets Inc. won the contract on a 4-0 vote, but not before several commissioners expressed discomfort with potential conflicts of interest in the small, but growing renewable energy industry.
Renewable energy sources are a great hope for the future. But there is a time and place for everything. The time for the construction of wind power facilities is after environmental impact studies. The place is anywhere away from people and off of ridge-tops.
The state’s top environmental official yesterday defended the Rendell administration’s strong support for wind energy, despite complaints from people who say unregulated wind farms harm the environment. Opponents of wind farms in Bedford and Somerset counties say turbines can usually be built anywhere, because few rural townships have zoning ordinances and no real state regulation exists. Bird experts say industry studies minimize bird deaths, but the studies have not been submitted for peer review by independent scientists.
Gov. Rendell announced yesterday that the state government would double, to 20 percent, the amount of electricity it consumed from renewable energy sources, moving Pennsylvania up among the nation's largest annual purchasers of green power.
Nor will environmentally friendly wind, solar and biomass power meet the need, despite their growing popularity. These up-and-coming renewable resources merit further development and investment, but the sun doesn't always shine, and the wind doesn't always blow when you want it to. For now, their intermittent qualities render them incapable of serving a large population's daily needs.
It’s simply not in the best interest of the industry, the public and the environment to place massive windmills across the commonwealth without ground rules about where they can be appropriately built with the least amount of negative impact.
Most helpful would be a statewide guide for windmill sitings. Currently, there's little to prevent a developer from erecting a windmill farm just about anywhere.....Plastering the ridge tops of Pennsylvania with windmills is eventually going to outrage residents who value the beauty of this state and value the birds, bats and other critters that travel along the ridges, for whom windmills pose a threat.
The debate was put into a proper perspective by the Times-Tribune newspaper in Scranton., which wrote: “America’s future as a world power and leading economy will be determined largely by its ability to meet the increasing demand for energy, while weaning itself from foreign oil and protecting the environment.
Partnership Latest in Series of Actions by Governor Rendell to Accelerate Alternative Fuel Development, Increase Domestic Fuel Supply
Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell is urging municipalities to participate in small-scale wind-energy projects throughout the state to reduce the state´s dependence on imported energy.
JOHNSTOWN - The Pa. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has put on hold a potential agreement between the Cambria Somerset Authority and Gamesa, a Spanish wind energy company.
There are many places where it [wind energy] can work and not be intrusive. But it's not for everywhere. It doesn't belong on ridgetops where it will destroy the "viewshed" and foul the wilderness quality of the last large undeveloped tract in the region.
"Pennsylvania is developing and supporting homegrown solutions through the Energy Harvest program to lessen our dependence on foreign oil," Governor Rendell said. "We can't wait for the federal government to establish a policy that gives us back our energy independence. Instead, we are acting."
"These projects are very expensive and wouldn't happen without tax subsidies," he [Glenn Schleede] said. "Ordinary taxpayers are getting taken to the cleaners on this."
The story reveals that Radnor officials were misled and don’t understand that commercial wind energy is not an environmentally benign source of electricity. The officials are probably not aware of certain facts such as the following: