A new report has concluded Michigan households and business owners could save $3.59 billion with a stable wind energy industry.
This, according to a new report from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the Wind Energy (WEF), based on data and calculations made using the US Department of Energy’s new 2015 report, Wind Vision: A new era for wind power in the United States, which we covered back upon its release in March.
Specifically, the Wind Vision report concluded that wind energy can grow from the current 4% of the United States’ energy supply to 10% by 2020, 20% by 2030, and 35% by 2050.
“With stable policy we can grow wind energy and we can save Michigan homeowners and businesses over $3.59 billion,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. “Because of American ingenuity, wind energy’s costs have dropped by 66 percent in just the last six years and by continuing to invest in wind over a billion dollars in savings can be passed onto consumers in Michigan and across the Great Lakes region.”
The new report from the AWEA and WEF, A wind vision for new growth in Michigan, takes it a step further and locally, concluding that wind energy could supply the equivalent electricity necessary for 710,000 average Michigan homes, with an added $11.6 million in added annual property tax revenue, and landowners taking in an additional $7.6 million in lease payments by 2030.
“Michigan’s previous renewable energy policies have put the state on a path for success,” said Beth Soholt, Executive Director of Wind on the Wires. “Public policies that encourage the development of more wind energy are a win-win. Local economies will grow from the jobs and economic development that come from new wind energy projects, and consumers will benefit from the clean, renewable, and low-cost energy wind can provide.”
Across America, the wind industry could support over 380,000 well-paying jobs if the 2030 scenario were to be prioritized, which is substantially up on the current 73,000 jobs currently in play throughout the US wind energy industry.
“Keeping the air and water resources clean in the Great Lakes region now, and for future generations, is what is at stake here,” said John Kostyack, Executive Director of WEF. “We can do that and save consumers money by tapping into more of Michigan’s low-cost wind energy resource. This report tells a story that’s being repeated in states all across the country – how both our environment and our local economies improve when we develop Made-in-America wind energy.”
The Great Lakes region has been a hotly-focused region for wind energy development over the past year, with numerous reports and advocate groups pointing to the phenomenal potential freshwater offshore wind energy development has in the United States.
In January, the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation wrote of how “the potential for offshore wind power generation in the US is staggering.” Specifically, it concluded that the US has a projected 4,223 GW worth of offshore wind generating potential — with 50 GW from Lake Erie alone, the fourth largest of the Great Lakes, which borders Ontario (Canada), Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.
The Great Lakes could also be home to a number of offshore floating wind turbines, according to a 2012 story about a new floating turbine technology. And the potential of the Great Lakes region was further developed in September of this year, with the release of a wind atlas for the Great Lakes region, published by researchers from Cornell University and the Technical University of Denmark.