Many recent op-eds in The Sun have discussed Gov.Martin O'Malley's wind bill. To those concerned about the cost of wind energy, I would observe that doing nothing might prove even more expensive in the long run. While installing the wind turbines may raise residential electricity rates by as much as $1.50 a month, it will benefit Maryland and the world by using more renewable energy.
Wind energy is beneficial to Maryland in many ways: it is renewable, it pollutes less, it is not expensive, it provides a lot of energy, it will reduce U.S. dependence on imported fuels and it will create local jobs.
Wind is not a resource that will ever become depleted. It also does not consume water or pollute like coal. This will result in less smog, less acid rain, and fewer greenhouse gas emissions, which will lead to a slowing in the onset of global warming. Wind energy does not contribute to global warming at all.
Wind energy is also the least expensive of all renewable energies, and the cost will continue to go down as new technologies are developed. The "fuel" for this type of energy (wind) will continue to exist plentifully and cheaply.
Without air pollution from non-renewable power plants, health care costs will decrease.
According to the American Wind Energy Association, wind energy in the United States could provide as much as 10,777 billion kilowatt hours annually — more than twice the electricity generated in the U.S. today. Using new technologies, Maryland could be an industry leader, helping the U.S. reach its goal for renewable energy sources by 2020.
Wind could reduce the nation's dependence on imported fuels. This means that America will no longer be vulnerable to price changes and supply disruptions for electricity. Our national energy supply will be more secure. It is always better to use our own resources, especially when we know that they will not run out. The money that we invest monthly for the wind turbines will be saved in other places that were associated with fuel importation for electricity.
Wind energy will create sustainable, local jobs in order to maintain the turbines and will not use up land like solar panels. Solar panels can interfere with farming, while wind turbines take up no land at all. Wind turbines leave land open for agriculture and urban development, important land needs as our population continues to grow.
Finally, Maryland should support the implementation of wind turbines on the coast for environmental, health, societal and political reasons. Using wind as a renewable, inexhaustible resource will not pollute the air as other energy fuels do, which will benefit the environment and health of the people, and it will decrease our dependence on imported fuels and help move the U.S. forward in being more green.
Kayla Reisman, Carlisle, Pa.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun