Statement by Patrick Woodson, Chairman, E.ON North America: Clean Power Plan Secures America's Future

Aug 06, 2015, 16:51 ET from E.ON North America

AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Clean Power Plan rule is long overdue in the American energy market.  This plan builds on recent increases in renewable technologies and the shale gas revolution.  Once implemented this plan will help us achieve a more energy secure America.  For years, the lack of a national energy policy has left the U.S. without clear direction on America's energy future.  This plan gives the markets a clear view of the future electric generation fleet that will power America's economy.  It is clear that fleet will need to have clean, affordable, homegrown energy from gas, hydro, nuclear, wind and solar power to achieve these targets. 

Through 2014, 40% of American's energy was still coming from the highest emitting resources.  In comparison, less than 5% and 1% of all power used in the U.S. came from emission-free wind and solar power, respectively, according to the International Energy Administration.  While renewables technologies are gaining steam, current installations remain only a drop in the bucket of what we could achieve in this country.  We have world class wind resources in several parts of the country, exceptional solar resources in the Southwest and continue to make technology leaps to improve viability of these resources throughout the U.S.  The Clean Power Plan can be the impetus to help us refocus our energy agenda and create a cleaner energy footprint. 

The ideas laid out in this plan are not mysterious or radical ideas.  Rather these are necessary steps to get the policy in line with what the vast majority of Americans already understand.  An April 2015 poll conducted by Zogby for Solar City stated 87% of Americans realize renewable growth is important to America's future.  A June 2015 poll conducted by the University of Michigan indicated 74% of Americans polled believed state governments should require a certain percentage of power come from renewable sources, where just over half the states do now.  It is clearly the people's choice and it should be the choice of the policy makers as well. 

As an owner of multiple sources of generation, we understand that there is room for all technologies in this debate but there needs to be clear direction and clear policies in order to make a cleaner energy future possible.  We cannot have that future without thoughtful planning and affordable energy.  While this plan has big targets there is also a fifteen year period to implement it.  Rather than fighting this plan for years, the generation community should embrace it and start working toward a cleaner future.  There is no payoff standing around like dinosaurs watching meteors.  Let's embrace this plan and start building a cleaner America. 

The ability to reshape our energy future, maintain affordable energy and dramatically lower the emissions levels without sacrificing our competitiveness as a global player is a rare chance.  Many countries do not have the resources to have that luxury.  We do.  The time is right for a clean energy future and the Clean Power Plan is a clear signal all energy providers should embrace. 

Woodson is the Chairman for E.ON North America, a leading U.S. renewable provider and subsidiary of E.ON SEE.ON SE is an international, privately-owned energy supplier, based in Dusseldorf, Germany, and will in the future be focusing entirely on renewables, energy networks and customer solutions.

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Christopher Brown
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SOURCE E.ON North America