June 19, 2013

Future is now for green energy switch

Future is now for green energy switch

Future is now for green energy switch
Even among those who believe strongly in sustainability, renewable energy as a major percentage of production may seem like a futuristic, far-off goal, one to strive for but which may only be seen by the next generation. Those in the industry, though, know that the future is rapidly arriving, and some recent news shows that, when it comes to renewable energy, the future is now.
Austin boosting renewable energy use
Austin, Texas, home to popular music festivals and University of Texas, has long been famous for its atmosphere, and has taken strong stands on many forward-looking issues. When it comes to renewable energy, it's been at the vanguard of adopters. Only a few years ago, Austin Energy, the city-owned utility company upped its focus on renewable energy, hoping to boost its efforts ingreen energy switch and hit a benchmark of 35 percent of its energy being renewable by the year 2020. An ambitious and noble goal, certainly, but 2020 was still years away. The company, though, may not even need that long.
According to a recent article in the Austin American-Statesman, Austin Energy is about to sign a pair of contracts that would put the company past its 35 percent goal by 2016. 570 megawatts of wind generated capacity, stemming from the Texas Gulf Coast, would be added in contracts worth $1.4 billion and lasting 25 years. The new wattage would sufficiently increase the company's renewable work and break it into a new frontier. With the 35 percent barrier behind it, it may have bold new ambitions to take on next.
Other great news for renewable energy
Around the country, other good news about renewable energy continues to come out. Nebraska recently signed into a law a bill aimed at pushing renewable energy in the state higher through tax incentives, such as exempting certain renewable energy costs from the 5.5 percent sales tax the state has in place. The law also requires renewable energy companies to put at least $20 million into certain properties in the state in order to receive the tax benefits. According to an article from ReedSmith, Nebraska has the fourth-highest wind-energy potential in the nation, but has hardly capitalized on this and remains 26th in the nation in wind-energy production. Hopefully, the bill will take wind energy production in Nebraska to the next level, and help bring America further into a future of green power.

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