Region Forward Blog

The Morning Measure: Think long-term on renewable energy in metro Washington

Mar 24, 2011


We know that we need to diversify our sources of energy. Whether or not you think that climate change is a problem shrinking fuel supplies political turbulence in oil-rich areas and natural and man-made disasters make it clear that reliance on fossil fuels is not sustainable environmentally or otherwise. The array of renewable energy sources – wind solar tides and geothermal heat – provide cleaner greener energy and allow nations or regions to choose a mix that is most efficient and effective for them. Solar energy in the U.S. southwest or tidal energy in wind power in Denmark for example.

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley wants to bring off-shore wind energy to his state giving residents access to clean renewable energy and creating jobs at the same time. In this effort O’Malley has been backed by a “Green-Blue” coalition of support (environmentalist and labor unions) who tout the project’s ecological and economic benefits. Some members of the Maryland General Assembly have expressed concern that energy rates may initially increase for residents and the Governor has amended the bill to protect residents from increases.

Cost concerns are always legitimate and even more so during this time of continued economic fragility but once those concerns are alleviated projects like this should move forward in and around metropolitan Washington. RF targets include reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80% below 2005 levels by 2050. To meet this target renewable energy sources must be a major part of our future energy portfolio.

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