Report: Oregon wind energy impact equal to taking 550,000 cars off the road
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Oregon Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, right, spoke Wednesday at a press conference which highlighted wind power and marked the release of a report on the topic from Environment Oregon.
Wind power is a viable, clean source of energy and enough of it has been switched on in Oregon to have the equivalent climate impact of removing 550,000 cars from the road each year.
So says a new report released Wednesday by Environment Oregon, an environmental advocacy group.
The report, "Wind Power for a Cleaner America," points out that in addition to providing a cleaner, greener power source than fossil fuel-burning power plants, wind energy also doesn't have the water requirements of such plants.
Researchers who contributed to the report found that in 2011, Oregon produced 4.9 million megawatt hours of electricity from wind, avoiding 2.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions and saving just over 1 billion gallons of water per year.
If wind energy development continues at a healthy pace — one supported by state and national policies such as renewable energy portfolio standards and federal tax incentives — the report's authors expect that by 2016, Oregon could be generating 5 million megawatt hours of electricity from wind, bumping up CO2 emissions and water savings along the way.
In July, Environment Oregon issued a report calling for Oregon to move toward getting 10 percent of its energy from rooftop solar installations.
Similar to that report launch, Environment Oregon Wednesday held a press conference on the shores of the Willamette River. At that event Oregon Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, whose district is home to Vestas' North American headquarters in Portland, emphasized the need for policy supportive of the wind industry.
“Companies like Vestas and Ibedrola are investing in the future of our state,” said Steiner Hayward in a press release. “Thanks to federal tax incentives and Oregon’s renewable portfolio standard, we can continue to be a leader in clean energy.”
If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.