Research / Energy & Environment
SLC Special Series Report | October 2018
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Wind energy production in the United States continues to grow, heralding expanded transmission capacity, lower energy prices and job growth in several sectors. This SLC Special Series exploring the myriad impacts of wind energy expansion in SLC states has examined the benefits of wind energy in the region and provided case studies from three SLC states. However, a further understanding of the full impacts of this growing industry also necessitates a discussion of its challenges. To that end, this SLC Special Series Report, the third and final installment, assesses the industry’s obstacles, particularly as they relate to military operations, impacts to avian populations and cultural perceptions.
SLC Special Series Report | January 2018
Remarkably, without much fanfare, the nation’s wind energy sector continues to grow, a testimony to both advances in technology and deliberate measures by policymakers to create an environment to stimulate the development of this power source. At the close of 2016, installed wind capacity in the United States exceeded 82,000 megawatts (MW), surpassing hydropower for the first time in the nation’s history. In total, installed wind energy capacity grew by 8,203 MW over the previous year and now generates about 5.5 percent of the country’s electricity, enough to power 24 million homes.
SLC Special Series Report | May 2017
The nation's energy sector is undergoing substantial changes, as political and economic factors converge to encourage diversification in generation. Aided by state and federal tax credits, renewable energy generation technologies are experiencing unprecedented growth as production costs decline and implementation increases.
As the renewable energy sector continues to grow, concerns that such expansions could lead to widespread job losses in traditional energy sectors, such as coal, have proliferated. Southern states are rich in traditional energy resources; thus, many state economies have long depended on these resources. Because of the importance of these industries to the region, both in terms of economic development and employment opportunities, legislators often are faced with balancing business interests with the need for environmental protection and conservation.
This SLC Special Series Report, the first in a series exploring the myriad impacts of wind energy expansion on SLC states, examines the benefits of wind energy in the Southern region. Forthcoming reports present case studies from three SLC states, examine SLC states' capacity for wind energy generation and utilization, analyze state incentives, and explore the challenges of wind energy generation in the region.
SLC Energy & Environment Committee
2018-2019 Vice Chair
Jim Gooch Jr.
Southern states have abundant natural resources which have been instrumental in the recent growth and development throughout the region. In sustaining economic development, meeting growing energy needs, and maintaining the South’s high quality of life, states are increasingly recognizing the need to forge Energy & Environmental policies that ensure sound stewardship of the region’s resources and the economy of the region as a whole. Through panel discussions and presentations, the Committee routinely examines clean water programs and water permitting; alternative energy; state compliance with federal clean air and water standards; the future for nuclear power; growth and sprawl; and hydraulic fracking.
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