America, Leading the World in Wind Power
Recently the world saw a switch in global leadership in renewable wind power. For years Germany has lead the way in wind production, but now nations must say achtung to the United States as being on the cutting edge of wind technology. According to the Global Wind Energy Council, the United States increased their wind power capacity by 29 percent. This increase is an additional 8.4 gigawatt into the national power grid. The increase, more than any other nation, gives the United States 20.8 percent of the world total installed power base. Germany's installed wind power base accounts for 18.9 percent of the total world production.
California is doing its part to make sure that America stays in the lead. On Thursday French-backed renewable energy company enXco premiered a new wind powered power plant in Susin City, California. Energy production from this facility will produce 150 megawatts, which will be doubled in the next three years. Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has signed a twenty year lease of the facility in an effort to meet new state guidelines for renewable energy production.
California's Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, issued a mandate requiring all public utilities produce 20 percent of their power from renewables such as solar and wind by 2010, and then 33 percent by 2020. This has created a new boom in California, one centered on solar, wind and geo-thermal power. Even with the financial crisis utilities are moving forward with plans to meet these new standards. The purchase of the facility, known as Shiloh II, from enXco is part of the utilities plan to meet this new quota.
But not is all lost for Germany. The 75 turbines used in the plant were built by German power company Repower Systems AG, who is reaping the dividends of investment and research by the German government. Hopefully, United States corporations will be as fortunate in years to come.