Sunday, June 28, 2009

Economic Benefits, Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Emissions Reductions, and Water Conservation Benefits from 1,000 Megawatts (MW) of New Wind Power in Virginia

The graphics and charts for this article didn't copy but they're certainly worth a look. Click on the link below for the rest of this release and for the visuals. If VA would harness its wind energy, there would be no need for U mining here or in lots of places with similar winds. Job creation would be substantially higher than with U mining and milling too. There are no compelling reasons not to harness VA's renewable energy source, wind.

Wind power is one of the fastest growing forms of new power generation in the United States. Industry growth in 2007 was an astounding 45%. New wind power installations constituted 35% of all new electric power installations. This growth is the result of many drivers, including increased economic competitiveness and favorable state policies such as Renewable Portfolio Standards. However, new wind power installations provide more than cost-competitive electricity. Wind power brings economic development to rural regions, reduces water consumption in the electric power sector, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by displacing fossil fuels.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Powering America Program is committed to educating state-level policy makers and other stakeholders about the economic, CO2 emissions, and water conservation impacts of wind power. This analysis highlights the expected impacts of 1000 MW of wind power in Virginia. Although construction and operation of 1000 MW of wind power is a significant effort, six states have already reached the 1000-MW mark. We forecast the cumulative economic benefits from 1000 MW of development in Virginia to be $1.2 billion, annual CO2 reductions are estimated at 3.0 million tons, and annual water savings are 1,600 million gallons.

Economic Benefits
Building and operating 1000 MW of wind power requires a significant investment. But this investment will generate substantial direct, indirect, and induced economic benefits for Virginia. Direct benefits include jobs, land-lease payments, and increased tax revenues. Indirect benefits include benefits to businesses that support the wind farm. Induced benefits result from additional spending on goods and services in the area surrounding the development.

Direct impacts result from investment in the planning, development, and operation of new wind facilities. Beneficiaries include landowners, construction workers, O&M staff, turbine manufacturers, and project managers. Indirect impacts reflect payments made to businesses that support the wind facility and include banks financing the project, component suppliers, and manufacturers of equipment used to install and maintain the facility. Induced benefits result from increased spending by direct and indirect beneficiaries. Examples include increased business to restaurants, retail establishments, and child care providers.

Drivers of economic benefits include the use of local construction companies, the presence of in-state component suppliers, local wage structures, local property tax structures, and operation and maintenance (O&M) expenditures.

The projected benefits for Virginia could be greatly increased by the development of a local wind supply, installation, and maintenance industry within the state.

See the rest of this article, including statistics and graphics here:

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