Plug-in hybrids usher a new era for wind power.
Jeff Anthony is manager of utility programs at the American Wind Energy Association in Washington, D.C.
The days of windpower being considered an “alternative” energy are over. Second only to natural gas-fired generation in the category of new installed capacity during each of the last few years, windpower more than ever has become accepted as mainstream generation. Last year, wind power accounted for 35 percent of all new electric generating capacity, and it’s on pace to more than maintain that piece of the resource pie this year.
The transportation sector, meanwhile, is facing major new challenges, with growing oil demand occurring simultaneously with the increasing recognition of the economic, environmental, and national security consequences of U.S. oil dependence. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have been considered an answer to many of these challenges, yet detractors often argue that deployment of such vehicles would simply shift emissions from the transportation sector to the energy sector, given that electric vehicles will need to be connected to the power grid and charged.