Since 2001, wind power in the United States has steadily offset carbon pollution. How much? More than a year’s worth of Canada’s emissions.
In a new report by Environment America, New England advocates of renewable energy are pointing to that as evidence of the growing role wind energy could continue to play in combating the climate crisis.
The Conservation Law Foundation’s Tricia Jedele sees one big takeaway in the report.
“We have the opportunity and the potential to have some locally-made clean energy that is enough to power approximately 350,000 homes right off the coast of our little state Rhode Island,” she said.
Jedele said that would offset the carbon emissions of nearly 400,000 cars by 2020.
But report co-author Bronte Payne with Environment Rhode Island said inconsistent tax credits have discouraged the wind energy industry from investing in more projects on and offshore.
Federal lawmakers haven't consistently renewed the Production Tax Credit (PTC) responsible for spurring wind energy growth over the past 20 years. It expired last year.
“That’s why it’s so critical that Congress renew tax incentives for wind power and help speed the transition we need to 100 percent clean energy,” said Payne.
“I think that the opportunity here is to keep moving offshore wind [and] to make sure that we push through the obstacles that sometimes Congress has placed in our way,” added Jedele.
Jedele said those tax credit programs, including the Offshore Wind Investment Tax Credit, provide benefits that ultimately result in reduced carbon emissions.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse agrees and said he strongly supports federal tax incentives for the renewable energy industry.
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