An often overlooked advantage of generating energy with solar and wind are that the areas generating the power are more likely to be the ones to use the energy created than with oil or coal that enter the global marketplace. The United States Energy Information Administration indicated that:
" The U.S. became a (slight) net exporter (exported more than we imported) of refined petroleum products in 2008. Refined petroleum products produced in the U.S. from both domestic and imported crude oil are exported to other countries."
Also from the Energy Information Administration:
" Exports drove gains in production, as U.S. coal shipments to other countries climbed to their highest level in two decades, while domestic coal consumption for electricity generation fell."
The next time you come out the Harbor Tunnel in Baltimore look at the huge piles of coal waiting to be placed on ships going overseas. What you are looking at is CONSOL Energy's 150,000 ton mountains of coal ready for loading on ships for export. This contrasts with the limited transmission lines for solar and wind directing almost all of that energy a short distance from its source. There aren't any tranmission lines to China.
The efforts to explore wind energy in Maryland have been mostly centered around the mountains in Western Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay and offshore near Ocean City. The Maryland Reporter has reported that efforts to increase energy resources in the Maryland Legislature has broken down into the normal partisan divide with Democrats pushing wind energy and Republicans favoring fracking for natural gas. This deadlock has been occurring at a time that Maryland imports over 30% of its energy usage from other states. Only four other states import more of their energy usage. Something to remember the next time you pay a premium on your energy bill for this out of state energy supply.
Upcoming Events Sponsored by Howard County Climate Change:
Post debate comment. I was disappointed but not surprised that each candidate avoid offending the NRA with their comments on an assault weapons ban. The NRA has such a hold on every elected official and candidate that we will never have a sane policy on assault weapons in this country and mass shootings with assault weapons are the price we will continue to pay.