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1-23-13: Why Wind?
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Governor Martin O’Malley is again asking the General Assembly to OK the financial framework for a wind farm off the coast of Ocean City. He proposed his bill yesterday – the third time O’Malley has asked the legislature to require utilities to buy more wind-generated electricity, with a cap on how much extra customers would pay for it.
This year’s bill (SB 275 / HB 226) is identical to a version that passed the House last year, but stalled in a Senate committee. Now half the senate and 40 percent of the delegates are co-sponsoring it, but not everyone is on board: some critics say we should be concentrating instead on drilling for shale gas in western Maryland. And others say the state should put more effort into developing on-shore wind and solar power.
That made us wonder: is now the right time for wind? And why should the governor be putting his political capital behind an offshore wind farm, as opposed to some other renewable?
Sheilah talks about all this with a person who’s been deeply immersed in the wind sector for the last few years. Malcolm Woolf is the former director of the Maryland Energy Administration. Before he stepped down this past September, he had been in the job since 2007. He’s now a senior vice president with the trade association “Advanced Energy Economy."
In this web extra, you can hear Malcolm Woolf compare the proposed Maryland wind farm to possible projects in other states--and hear his predictions for the bill this session.