We know wind and solar energy work well together, and the Governor’s Wind Energy Coalition recently announced a transition that reflects that sentiment.
Moving forward, the organization will add solar, in addition to wind, to its renewable energy advocacy work. It will now operate under the Governor’s Wind and Solar Energy Coalition (GWSC) banner.
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, GWSC’s current chair, explained the move, saying “The addition of solar to the Coalition’s portfolio represents a commitment to future economic and renewable energy growth, and further diversification of our nation’s energy portfolio. Bringing to bear the support of America’s leading governors and their commitment to both solar and wind energy, and the Coalition’s high-quality policy work, this group can have significant influence. Adding solar energy will strengthen our voice.”
Rhode Island governor and GWSC Vice Chair Gina Raimonda agreed, saying, “I support the foresight of my colleagues to broaden the Coalition’s focus and include solar energy development as a policy priority. Wind and solar provide complementary benefits to the U.S. electric grid and will help diversify the country’s energy mix. The need for states to take a broader view of renewable power is clear.”
Wind and solar’s role in America’s future energy mix was on full display in 2015. The two energy sources made up 61 percent of all new U.S. energy installations last year, with wind accounting for 47 percent alone. The Department of Energy predicts this growth will continue, explaining that wind could generate 20 percent of America’s electricity by 2030.
As the Clean Power Plan goes into effect in the coming years, states will increasingly look to expand these zero-carbon electricity sources, making GWSC’s work all the more important.