July 28, 2007

What's wrong with an RPS

Dear Congressman Peter Welch (Vt.) --

Your concern about climate change is not served by your sponsorship of H.R. 969 to establish a national RPS.

Since most of the lobbying in favor of this bill is by the industry group American Wind Energy Association, we can assume that most of the 20% renewables would be from wind. Wind on the grid is problematic, because of its high variability and significant unpredictability. It can not provide capacity, so it can not replace other plants. And its ramping and startup burden on those plants causes them to burn more fuel, which cancels to a great extent their being used less (if they are not simply switched to "spinning standby" -- burning fuel but not generating electricity).

Thus, a utility may provide 20% of its electricity from wind, but without anywhere near a corresponding reduction in fossil fuel burning.

Unlike the Safe Climate Act of 2007, H.R. 969 will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is unlikely even to reduce their growth significantly.

Please reconsider your sponsorship of H.R. 969 and vote AGAINST it.

[Track the bill at govtrack.us.]

wind power, wind energy, wind farms, environment, environmentalism, Vermont