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Closing the Green Gap

Will wind power close the gap between state renewable portfolio standards and the current shortfall in viable technologies?

Fortnightly Magazine - April 2005
Chart 4 - Total NHRE Cumulative Capital Investment by Fuel Technology

pipeline into perspective, consider that during the next four years alone, 22 GW are projected to come online-nearly four times the current wind operating capacity.

Becoming the Standard

Over the past decade, more than 340 state-level renewable energy programs have been established. Add to these 9 federal incentives, including the most beneficial to renewable developers: the production tax credit. Then there's green pricing and marketing programs involving more than 140 individual programs nationwide that sell power to more than 650 electric distribution companies. On top of this is the federal mandate to use renewable energy to meet 2.5 percent of federal facilities' energy demands.

All of this pales alongside the evolving renewables world created by the new state portfolio standards. The combined impact of all the green pricing, marketing and federal facility mandates are estimated at only 2.5 GW-less than 5 percent of the gap created by current state RPS goals. Many state and local regulatory agencies have begun to work together to overcome many of the historic barriers to renewables development, such as transmission constraints, permitting, tax policy, and trading. It's clear that they will have to if renewable energy technologies are ever to meet state renewable portfolio standards.