AWEA expects North American leaders to pursue 50% carbon-free by 2025

President Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto are expected to set targets to have their nations obtain half of their electricity from zero-carbon sources of electricity by 2025, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) said June 28.

The three North American leaders are expected to make the joint pledge on June 29 during the North American Leaders’ Summit in Ottawa, Ontario, AWEA said in a news release.

The North American 50% pledge was also being reported by Time Magazine and National Public Radio, among other sources.

Despite the declining number of coal plants, the 50% carbon-free generation goal still has a ways to go.

During 2015 about 67% of total U.S. electric generation came from fossil fuel sources, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Coal and natural gas were tied at 33% each with another 1% coming from petroleum. On the non-carbon side, nuclear accounted for 20% of electric generation followed by hydro at 6%; wind at 4.7% and biomass at 1.6%. Solar and geothermal each accounted for less than 1%.

In addition, several baseload nuclear power plants are closing prematurely, citing market dynamics.

AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan wasted no time in supporting the target. “Getting half of North America’s electricity production from zero-emission clean energy by 2025 is possible thanks to low-cost, reliable wind energy,” Kiernan said.

“Wind energy has accounted for 77 percent of the growth in non-emitting generation in the U.S. over the last 10 years and these three countries already obtain nearly 40 percent of their electricity from zero-emission generation today. Thanks to wind power’s 66 percent cost decline over the last six years, homegrown wind energy is already on track to double by 2020 in the U.S,” Kiernan said.

AWEA is the national trade association of the U.S. wind energy industry, with over 900 member companies.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.