Department of Energy Releases Report on Collaborative Study of Future of Wind Energy in America
WASHINGTON— The Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the release of its much-anticipated “Wind Vision” report – a collaborative, comprehensive peer-reviewed analysis of the future of wind energy in America. Defenders of Wildlife President Jamie Rappaport Clark represented the conservation community on the senior review committee for the “Wind Vision.” The report examines the feasibility of getting 20 percent of our national electricity production from wind energy by 2030, which could reduce our national carbon footprint by about 10 percent.
“We have been working at the forefront of conservation-related renewable energy issues for many years with a focus on creating robust partnerships among a variety of stakeholders,” said Clark. “It was an honor to be selected to participate in shaping the ‘Wind Vision’ and I am excited to see how the results inform the next steps in conservation-minded development.”
The wind vision project engaged a diverse range of stakeholders including national research facilities, industry, NGOs, academia, and other government stakeholders to examine long-term potential for responsible wind development. The study evaluates scenarios for achieving 10 percent of our national electricity production from wind energy by 2020; 20 percent by 2030; and 35 percent by 2050, and includes both onshore (public and private lands) and offshore wind deployment.
Clark was asked to participate in the “Wind Vision” as a member of the conservation community because of Defenders’ role leading efforts to bring to light the effects that climate change is having on a wide range of species, and the need to develop strategies that curb greenhouse gas pollution while helping wildlife adapt to habitat changes and addressing short-term impacts to wildlife from utility-scale renewable development.
“We focused our engagement on securing the future of wind by reaffirming the importance of wind wildlife co-existence,” said Clark. “To make the ‘Wind Vision’ a reality we must promote thoughtful, ‘smart from the start’ planning to ensure that we can achieve our wind energy goals without jeopardizing our rich wildlife legacy.”
The “Wind Vision” answers key questions— is there a sufficient national wind resource? What are the technology requirements? Can industry scale up to achieve this goal? Can the grid accommodate 20 percent wind? What would the labor force look like? Where would all of this wind energy be used? How much would it cost?—assesses the impacts of potential wind energy goals, and provides a roadmap outlining the challenges in the path toward achieving those goals.
“Defenders believes that Americans should not and do not have to choose between reducing our greenhouse gas pollution and protecting our country’s precious wildlife resources,” concluded Clark. “But we also believe that conservation organizations and the wind industry need to work together if we are to address the serious threats of climate change. We can facilitate responsible wind energy development that supports the conservation of our country’s precious wildlife resources. The ‘Wind Vision’ is an incredible advancement in this effort.”
Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1.1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.