Intro: Renewable sources of power are coming online faster than conventional sources, both here and in Europe, according to a new international report... and the trend is playing out in the Northwest, too. About 41-hundred megawatts of power are now generated here from wind, solar and geothermal sources. That's only 5 percent of the total... but Rachel Scrimshak with the Renewable Northwest Project says it's up from 60 megawatts ten years ago, and is enough to power one million homes.
|Cut 245098 :14 "It’s a terrific amount of growth. It shows that people have capability and experience and are willing to invest in relatively new technologies, and incorporate them in our system."|
Suggested Tag: Scrimshak says one challenge in the western U-S is that the power transmission grid has just about reached its capacity to accommodate new generation. Fixing that requires some longer-term planning, which she says should be done now, so that the system can grow along with the renewable industries. The report says renewables now make up 18 percent of the world's electricity supply.
Alternate Cut: Rachel Scrimshak with the Renewable Northwest Project says utility companies are working to meet the goals set by Washington and Oregon to generate more of their power from renewable sources... and a combination of federal money and state tax breaks is making more projects possible. She says all of it is having an economic impact.
|Cut 255098 :19 "There are a lot of jobs associated with renewables in the Northwest – not just the direct jobs for building these projects and operating them, but we are attracting businesses who want to locate their North American headquarters in the Northwest (:15) because they see it as such a hub for new activity."|
Alternate Tag: As an example, she says the Northwest now is home to 13 solar parts manufacturers. We've also got some competition, however... the report says China is manufacturing 40 percent of the solar panels and 30 percent of the wind turbines in the world.
OPTIONAL REPORTER WRAP: uses first soundbite(s)
LEAD: The green engine is gaining steam. A new international report says renewable power sources are coming online faster than conventional sources, both in the U-S and Europe. And Chris Thomas reports, the trend is playing out in the Northwest, too.