Posts Tagged ‘wind energy’

Today’s post is leading you to another post (read me!), a post by former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm.

One tough cookie, Jennifer Granholm.

A fiery force of female, Ms. Granholm makes a strong case directed at Speaker John Boehner for the continuation of the wind production tax credit set to expire at the end of this year (for a full list of credits expiring at this year’s end, see my previous post “Year of the Tax“).  She takes a direct swing at Boehner, noting that his state of Ohio “saw a whopping 900 percent growth for new installations of wind power in 2011.”  She adds that “more than 50 manufacturing companies for wind components are located [in Ohio], and the industry supports thousands of Ohio jobs.”  It’d sure be a shame to loses the 37,000 jobs the wind sector is bringing to the table, especially since Congress claims to be all about job creation and growth.

Granholm doesn’t just open up on Boehner, though; she throws some punches at the Republican party more broadly.  My favorite: she makes the stinging observation that Republicans, despite their rhetoric, have been picking energy “winners and losers.” She asks, “How is it that they can vote to extend tax credits for oil but not for wind?”

Great question, Jen.  When you get an answer, give us a holler.  We’d be curious as to the answer.

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It’s been a windy week here for we SpinachHeads. We launched a new feature called “Food Fight” where we duke it out, all taking on the same issue from different perspectives. This week’s topic: how to square wind power’s clean benefits with it’s frequently noisy side effects that drive nearby communities mad.

Now, however, it appears we’ve stumbled upon a solution — a compromise to bridge the gap and appease those whiny townspeople delirious from the humming in their ears.

Pay them. Or better yet, give them ownership over part of the wind project. In 2010, Dutch researchers Fabian David Musall and Onno Kuik ran a study at the Amsterdam Institute of Environmental Studies on wind’s benefits and detriments. The research was based on a survey. One community, Nossen, owned by a major company and another town, Zschadraß, with local ownership. Here’s a quick snapshot of their findings:

The locally owned project had 45 percent of residents holding a positive view toward wind energy, and more of it, in fact. The absentee ownership only acquired 16 percent of residents’ approval.
No doubt easier said than done. But giving communities a share of ownership in local wind projects sure seems one way to make them tolerate those pesky sound effects.

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