. "2 Context for Analysis of Effects of Wind-Powered Electricity Generation in the United States and the Mid-Atlantic Highlands." Environmental Impacts of Wind-Energy Projects. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2007.
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Environmental Impacts of Wind-Energy Projects
States, a smaller portion of the mid-Atlantic region has high-quality wind resources than does the United States as a whole. As a result, wind energy will likely contribute proportionally less to electricity generation in the midAtlantic region than in the United States as a whole.
Electricity generated in the MAH—including wind energy—is used in a regional grid in the larger mid-Atlantic region. Electricity generated from wind energy in the MAH has the potential to displace pollutant emissions, discharges, wastes, and other adverse environmental effects over the life cycle of other sources of electricity generation in the grid, but that potential is less than 4.5%, and the degree to which its beneficial effects would be felt in the MAH is uncertain.
In the presence of more aggressive renewable-energy-development policies, potential increased energy conservation, and improving technology of wind-energy electricity generation and transmission, the above findings may underestimate wind energy’s contribution to total electricity production. This would affect the committee’s analysis, including projections for development and associated effects (e.g., energy supply, air pollution, development footprint). On the other hand, if technological advances serve to reduce the emissions and other negative effects of other sources of electricity generation, or if fossil-fuel prices fall,6 our findings may overestimate wind energy’s contribution to electricity production and air-pollution offsets.
Although it may appear unlikely that fossil-fuel prices will fall very far for a long period, so many geopolitical, technological, and economic factors affect fuel prices that it remains difficult to predict the future trajectory of those prices with confidence.