Sunday, October 18, 2009

Renewable Energy Powerhouse

The race for a state to claim leadership for clean-energy is on, and the two forerunners have different ways of going about it. Texas, is boasting wind power, and has recently opened the world's largest wind farm this month. Now, Texas has close to three times as much wind capacity as Iowa, the second rank state in wind energy. The other state, California, has invested in solar power and currently leads the nation.

As Congress considers ways to make America greener, these two states will serve as laboratories according to the policy makers under the Obama administration. Texas has loads of land and loose regulation, which makes it easy to build a wind turbine farm. California on the other hand does not have much extra space, which is why they turned to solar power. Although it may cost more money, it does not take up any land if they build the panels on the rooftops of buildings.

However, the one thing that both states have in common is that each has a renewable electricity mandates, stating that a certain amount of their electricity come from a renewable source. Congress is now considering on making such a mandate for the nation as a whole. As of now, renewable energy only accounts for 9.5 percent of the nation's supply of energy. Congress hopes that better technology will be developed soon so that the percentage will rise.

I believe that many other states will begin to follow in California's footsteps in solar power because it is a sure bet unlike wind power. Seeing as a majority of the states are not as big as California or Texas, they should take advantage of their building's rooftops and such. Also, as the concern for the environment rises, the creation of these energy mandates should satisfy many environmentalists.

1 comment:

Meghan Croxton said...

Since the beginning of time, competition has helped get important issues solved. Every state wants to outdo the opposing states and be the first leader in clean energy.
If the policy makers under the Obama administration create mandates stating that every state must produce a certain amount of renewable energy, the states might start converting to sources like wind, water or sunlight, producing cleaner emissions. But then again the states should want to take steps towards being “green” rather than feeling obligated. I think the government and environmentalists should help make these issues of pollution and global warming well-known and spread its importance rather than enforcing strict rules.
Wind power is highly effective but like the article states, solar power is “a sure bet” and is much more reasonable for populated areas. Maybe one day if enough states join the race for clean-energy, putting solar panels on rooftops will become common sense and will be the basis for creating a cleaner evironment.