Letter to the editor: N.D. can a be leader in clean energy economyI was pleasantly surprised to see in the news last week that the number of clean energy jobs in North Dakota is growing at a rate three times faster than jobs in other sectors. These numbers show that renewable energy and clean energy jobs are here to stay.
By: Terry Pilling, Ph.D. , Mandan, N.D., The Jamestown Sun
I was pleasantly surprised to see in the news last week that the number of clean energy jobs in North Dakota is growing at a rate three times faster than jobs in other sectors. These numbers show that renewable energy and clean energy jobs are here to stay. North Dakota can and should do much more, however, to promote the growth of new clean energy industries.
North Dakota has one of the best wind resources in the entire country with net capacity factors more than 40 percent as compared to 30 percent in most other states. As a result the wind energy industry has grown substantially in recent years and many new projects are in the development stages. However, I believe we’re just touching the surface of what can and should be done in the area of wind energy development in this state.
The most important policy change that would guarantee North Dakota becomes a leader in the wind energy industry would be to implement emission standards throughout the state. These emission standards would encourage utilities and electrical transmission system owners to acknowledge that the cheapest and cleanest source of new energy is wind. Other states have already made this change and are now beginning to move ahead of us in wind development. North Dakota has an opportunity to be a leader in the clean energy economy. Let’s make sure we don’t miss out on it.
Terry Pilling, Ph.D.
(Pilling is vice president of operations and technology for Crownbutte Wind Power Inc. in Mandan)