May 31, 2004

Government incentives boost wind power

[Quotes are from an April 4 Burlington Free Press article.]
"When states such as Connecticut and Massachusetts pass legislation that mandates their utilities invest in renewable energy, that drives up demand in the green tag market."
Interestingly, most of these schemes do not include large-scale hydro. They are designed only to make inefficient unreliable renewables economically viable on a large scale. But that doesn't make them good energy sources. It just creates an energy laundering scheme.
"Out-of-state utilities that buy green tags don't have to sell energy generated from environmentally friendly sources to their customers, but can point to the purchase of green tags as a way of supporting clean power."
That is, Vermont -- whose electricity generation and purchases is only about 1% from oil and none from coal and fully two-thirds emissions-free, and whose acid rain comes from midwestern coal plants -- would not be mitigating any CO2 or acid rain here by replacing our wild ridge lines with wind plants; instead, the developers would be selling green tags to utilities to continue to pollute from elsewhere.