Over the past few days, there’s been a lot of talk by leading political figures – speaking in bellwether, “swing states” like Colorado, Nevada, and Iowa – about the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind. More broadly, the discussion has revolved around the economic potential for clean energy development in those states, as well as in the country as a whole. Clearly, clean energy has become a political issue with potential “juice;” as a recent poll found that “57 percent of [Iowa] voters, including 41 percent of GOPers, [would be] less likely to support a presidential hopeful who isn’t for expanding [wind] power,” with “85 percent of the state’s voters see[ing wind] as positive for Iowa.”
- U.S. clean energy has been on a hot streak since 2008, with wind power capacity doubling from 25 GW in 2008 to 50 GW now; and with solar power now at 5 GW, “which isn’t much, but is over six times more than we had before Obama.”
- Along with the growth in renewable energy capacity, “the generation of renewable electricity has doubled” the past 4 years, with the economic “stimulus” having “financed the world’s largest wind farm, a half dozen of the world’s largest solar farms, the nation’s first refineries for advanced biofuels, a new battery industry for electric vehicles… smarter electric grid, and over 15,000 additional clean-energy projects.”
- This “green revolution” hasn’t received the coverage it deserves, in part as the media has been “mired in a fake debate over Solyndra.”
- That’s unfortunate, because wind energy “creates jobs in Colorado and Iowa…[and] exploits an inexhaustible domestic source of electricity that doesn’t broil the planet.”
- As a result of the explosive growth we’ve seen over the past 4 years, wind and solar now pose “a real threat to the fossil-fuel status quo.“
Regarding that last point, Grunwald doesn’t mention it in this article, but we’ve talked about it many times here at Scaling Green: namely, that the growth in clean energy is clearly viewed as a threat to the fossil fuel industry, as well as to the politicians whose campaigns they help fund, and they’re fighting back in a full-contact style. Moving forward, we need to counter that assault on our industry tenaciously and effectively, so that the “clean energy revolution” can continue for many years to come.
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