Thursday AM April 29th, 2009
by: Ed Mayberry, April 30, 2009 4:04:56 pm
The latest market report says Texas has almost 8,000 megawatts of wind power generating capacity — three times more than number two producer Iowa. Kathy Belyeu is with the American Wind Energy Association.
"If Texas were an independent country, Texas would be sixth in the world in terms of installed capacity. Texas has nearly 8,000 megawatt installed — 7,907. 2008 was by far the biggest year in terms of new installations — nearly 85-hundred megawatts were brought on line, and just to put that in perspective, one megawatt provides enough power for 250 to 300 average U.S. homes."
Kansas and New York have joined nine states producing over 1,000 megawatts of capacity—the so-called "gigawatt" club. Belyeu hopes Congress will establish a national renewable electricity standard patterned after Texas.
"So we want to take that success that we've seen in Texas and move it to a national level. We're very supportive. We think that it could provide the stability that this industry has been needing for a while, to really get us to a place where we're providing a respectable amount of the nation's electricity. Right now, wind provides about 1.25 per cent of the nation's electricity. There's nothing technologically standing in the way of wind providing 20 per cent of the nation's electricity within a generation."
The American Wind Energy Association's annual conference is set for Monday in Chicago, following record-breaking attendance at its meeting in Houston last year.
Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.