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Western states poised to meet 30,000-MW clean energy goal

June 25, 2007 - Wind Energy Weekly

Western states are on track to surpass a 2004 goal of adding 30,000 MW of “clean and diversified” energy generation in the region by 2015, according to a report from the Western Governors’ Association.

The report, which came out as the WGA began its annual conference in Deadwood, S.D., said as much as 80,000 MW is possible with better cooperation from the federal government. “The potential for the West is astounding,” said South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds (R). “Our work is not yet done.”

According to the report, Western states added 1,986 MW of clean energy generation in 2005 and 2,092 MW in 2006. Of all new power generation in the region, 25% was categorized as “clean and diversified,” consisting of wind, geothermal, biomass, and solar.

“Western states are serious about the development of domestic renewable energy,” said Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer (D), who recently spoke at the AWEA WINDPOWER 2007 Conference & Exhibition in Los Angeles, Calif. “Congress, as usual, is talking about it. We need action.”

Wind power accounted for 93% of clean energy additions. The governors expressed the need for the federal government to set long-term policy such as the production tax credit, which has been extended only in one- and two-year increments and has been allowed to expire several times before eventually being renewed.