By Jay Vincent,
Senior Vice President for Energy, The Saint Consulting Group
Looks like land use politics is quickly following on the heels of wind energy’s movement to the mountains and shores of the southeast. The Carolinas are the new front in the midst of sometimes heated discussions about wind energy in locations considered sacred by many environmentalists, preservationists and avid nature enthusiasts, particularly in the Appalachians.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports on state initiatives to effectively ban large-scale wind initiatives from the mountains of North Carolina.
The front may be new, but the usual suspects are square in the middle of this battle – anti-coal activists, wildlife advocates, hiking and tourism supporters and economic development boosters. South Carolina is beginning to focus on wind energy’s potential off its beaches.
The site fights in the southeast, however, take on a particular variety given the region’s traditional reliance on coal-fired electricity, even more so than the country at large. A political and economic transition to renewables like wind will require an intense lobbying effort at the state capitol and a change of heart in cities and towns that have relied on long-standing energy generation jobs and utilities attached to coal-fired power plants. Now with the push of green energy jobs, renewable electricity standards and the advent of a cap and trade future, some in the southeast are looking around the corner and jumping on the wind energy wagon and leading by example demonstrating a willingness (literally) and accepting wind in their backyard.
Jay Vincent is senior vice president for energy for The Saint Consulting Group, email email@example.com and phone 312.970.5770 Ext: 7502