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Giant wind turbines near the Interstate 10 freeway are powered by strong prevailing winds on May 13, 2008 near Palm Springs. A US government report released this week concludes that wind energy could generate 20 percent of the electricity produced in the US by 2030, as much as is currently provided by nuclear reactors. Although wind energy constitutes only about 1 percent of the electricity of the nation, wind energy is experiencing a growth spurt with an increase of 45 percent jump last year. The report envisions more than 75,000 new wind turbines, many of them bigger than those in use today, and many of them in offshore waters to increase production from the current 16,000 megawatts of power to 300,000 megawatts. The report does not predict that such growth will actually occur but rather that it is possible.
State law requires that California produces a third of its electricity from wind, solar and other renewable sources by 2020. But according to an independent state oversight agency, it could prove incredibly costly to taxpayers and have grave consequences for the environment.
We'll speak to David Schwarz, vice-chair of The Little Hoover Commission.