Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), a longtime backer of nuclear energy, is skeptical of a recent Department of Energy (DOE) report that says wind power can soon provide a major chunk of U.S. electric generation.
DOE recently issued a report titled “Wind Vision: A New Era for Wind Power in the United States.” The report states that wind power could produce 20% of U.S. electricity by 2030 and 35% by 2050.
“Our country uses about 25 percent of the electricity in the world,” Alexander said in a March 12 news release. “Relying on windmills to produce that electricity when nuclear power is available is the energy equivalent of going to war in sailboats when nuclear ships are available,” Alexander said.
“After 22 years of billions of dollars in subsidies, wind still produces only 4 percent of our electricity and the windmills work only about 30 percent of the time,” Alexander said.
“Nuclear power produces 20 percent of our electricity and 60 percent of our clean electricity. For more jobs and cheap, reliable power, our country needs more nuclear reactors—not more windmills,” Alexander said.
Alexander is chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and is a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Alexander has opposed renewal of the production tax credit (PTC) for wind generation. He has also faulted the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean Power Plan for, among other things, not sufficiently crediting the carbon-free baseload power from nuclear plants.