Los Angeles, CA – Wind power has grown exponentially in California over the last dozen years, and now supplies enough energy to power 1,188,483 homes, a new report from Environment California Research & Policy Center said today. Last year alone, wind turbines in California averted over 9 million tons of carbon dioxide pollution, the equivalent to removing more than 1.9 million cars from the road.
“Wind power here in California is already growing steadily, reducing pollution and helping to solve the climate crisis,” said Michelle Kinman, clean energy advocate with Environment California. “But we need policies to provide steady support for this clean energy resource to maintain our momentum in the fight against global warming.”
The report, Turning to the Wind, is timed with what’s become an annual tradition in Congress: waiting until the last minute to renew critical tax incentives for clean energy. The credits, which have helped spur wind power’s growth over the last two decades, expired at the end of last year, and any measure to reinstate them must be adopted before Congress adjourns for the year on December 18.
“Renewing tax credits for pollution-free energy will help sustain green jobs in California and reduce climate-changing carbon pollution,” said Kinman. “It’s critical for the future of our economy and our planet that Congress take action in the next seven days.”
The analysis also comes as state officials determine how to comply with the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of President Obama’s Climate Action that sets state-by-state limits on carbon pollution from power plants and encourages clean energy development.
“Regardless of whether you are working on the climate change issue or your passion is local economic development, it is worth your while to take a hard look at wind energy. Wind energy is affordable, reliable and clean, and it doesn’t use fresh water, and so its future is very bright,” said John Kostyack, executive director of the Wind Energy Foundation.
The report also showed that renewing tax credits for clean energy sources could spur enough wind development by 2020 to avert up to 5.7 million tons of carbon pollution. Nationwide, as much as 104.2 million tons of carbon pollution could be avoided.
As world leaders meet in Paris to hammer out an international agreement to slash climate-changing emissions, environmental advocates said wind power should play a critical role.
“To avoid the worst impacts of global warming, we need to transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy,” said Kinman, “and that must include doing everything we can to develop abundant, pollution-free wind power.”