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ENERGY

Environment R.I. releases wind energy report

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PROVIDENCE – The Ocean State has everything to benefit from increasing wind power, according to a new report by Environment Rhode Island Research & Policy Center.

The report – “Wind Power for a Cleaner America: Reducing Global Warming Pollution, Cutting Air Pollution and Saving Water” – was released at an event on Tuesday at India Point Park in Providence and details wind energy’s environmental benefits to day, as well as future benefits if wind power continues to grow.

According to Environment Rhode Island, power generation from wind energy projects currently under construction will displace as much global warming pollution as taking 1,000 cars a year off the roads.

The Environment Rhode Island report was released one day after the commissioning of new wind turbines at the Narragansett Bay Commission’s Field’s Point wastewater treatment facility. “Rhode Island can be an environmental leader in the effort to develop more wind energy and reap the benefits of cleaner, greener power,” Jamie Samons, public affairs manager with the Narragansett Bay Commission, said in a statement.

“Wind power is already replacing the dirty and dangerous energy sources of the past and creating a cleaner, healthier future for Rhode Island,” Channing Jones, Environment Rhode Island program associate, said in a statement. “We can continue on this path of cutting dangerous pollution if Congress acts now to extend critical wind incentives. Our message to Congress is clear: Don’t throw wind power off the fiscal cliff. Our clean air, water, and children’s futures are too important to blow it now.”

According to the report, wind energy represents an important resource in Rhode Island to help the state meet its goal of producing 16 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2019.

“Wind energy now powers nearly 13 million homes across the country and is on its way to being cost-competitive with traditional fossil fuels,” said the report, adding: “But these two federal wind power incentives expire at the end of the year. Without these credits, many planned wind farms will not be built.”

Environment Rhode Island’s Jones went on to implore Congress to extend the wind tax credits before they expire at the end of the year, and for the state to continue with proposed projects.

“Extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy are a wakeup call,” said Jones. “We must invest wisely in a future with cleaner air and fewer extreme weather events. Rhode Island can make history by being the first state to produce pollution-free energy from offshore wind development. Our leaders must act now, first by demanding that Congress extend the wind tax credits before they expire at the end of the year, and by moving forward with proposed wind projects in Rhode Island.”

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