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Pa. government doubling green-energy use to 20%

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.

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.

John Hanger, president and chief executive officer of the nonprofit public interest group PennFuture, said it was a "watershed" moment for the state, signaling both the potential for green electricity and a hope in the future for energy independence.

"It makes Pennsylvania by far and away the largest state in terms of purchasing megawatts from green electricity," Rendell said at the Southeastern Pennsylvania office of the state Department of Environmental Protection in Norristown.

"It will also make us the 12th-largest purchaser on the EPA's list of green energy. That's something we can be enormously proud of."

Before the purchase announced yesterday, Pennsylvania was 25th on that list of 25 businesses, government entities and universities whose actions, the Environmental Protection Agency says, "are helping drive the development of new renewable energy sources for electricity generation."

The University of... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

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.

John Hanger, president and chief executive officer of the nonprofit public interest group PennFuture, said it was a "watershed" moment for the state, signaling both the potential for green electricity and a hope in the future for energy independence.

"It makes Pennsylvania by far and away the largest state in terms of purchasing megawatts from green electricity," Rendell said at the Southeastern Pennsylvania office of the state Department of Environmental Protection in Norristown.

"It will also make us the 12th-largest purchaser on the EPA's list of green energy. That's something we can be enormously proud of."

Before the purchase announced yesterday, Pennsylvania was 25th on that list of 25 businesses, government entities and universities whose actions, the Environmental Protection Agency says, "are helping drive the development of new renewable energy sources for electricity generation."

The University of Pennsylvania is eighth. New Jersey is 15th.

The state contracted July 1 to buy 200,000 megawatt hours in wind and hydroelectric energy from Community Energy Inc. of Wayne at $550,000 a year for two years. The original contract in 2004 was for 100,000 megawatt hours a year at $276,000. A megawatt is a million watts.

Hanger, who attended the announcement, said the increase to 20 percent was the fulfillment of a campaign pledge when Rendell first campaigned for governor. The Ridge administration started with a 5 percent purchase of green power in 2000, and Rendell doubled that to 10 percent after taking office in 2003.

The benefits to the environment are obvious because wind and hydroelectric energy "are produced with absolutely no emissions in the air," the governor said.

Economically, money that would be sent out of state for energy production can be kept in Pennsylvania, benefiting businesses here or attracting businesses to the state and creating jobs, Rendell said.

He also said an increase in green energy could benefit homeland security.

"Relying on fossil fuels," Hanger explained, "means relying on foreign countries - because we don't have enough to meet our own needs - often countries that are unstable or even hostile to the United States."

Brent Alderfer, president and CEO of Community Energy, a marketer and developer of wind energy, noted that less than 1 percent of the nation's energy came from wind power, so the size of Pennsylvania's involvement could "move the market."

Hanger encouraged residential energy users to go to www.cleanyourair.org to see how "every consumer can do what the state is going."

"If everybody decided to buy clean electricity today," he said, "the market would change fundamentally in a very short time."

See the Environmental Protection Agency's list of the 25 largest purchasers of green energy via http://go.philly.com/greenpower
Contact staff writer Jeff Price at 610-313-8124 or jprice@phillynews.com.


 


Source: http://www.philly.com/mld/i...

AUG 30 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/4270-pa-government-doubling-green-energy-use-to-20
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