The Midwestern Governors Association today unveiled a road map for transforming the region into a hub for clean energy development through rapid deployment of "smart grid" and carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies.
The Midwestern Energy Infrastructure Accord, released today at the group's meeting in Detroit, includes a framework for reaching a regional goal of getting 10 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2015 and 30 percent by 2030.
By December, the 11-member group hopes to develop a "standard, Midwest-wide understanding of smart grid" that includes recommendations for readying the grid to serve a future fleet of plug-in electric vehicles.
The governors also agreed to a goal to site and permit by 2012 a multijurisdictional carbon dioxide pipeline that can ferry global warming pollution captured from coal-fired power plants to sites for permanent geologic storage.
"We will never slow global climate change unless we capture and sequester coal plant greenhouse gas emissions," said Kurt Waltzer, CCS development coordinator for the Clean Air Task Force, which lauded the group's accord. "The Midwestern governors today took a critical step toward cleaning up coal."
A CO2 transport and storage infrastructure is believed to be critical for the continued development of pre- and post-combustion carbon capture technology over the next two decades.
The accord comes a day after U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke told representatives of Midwest states that the expansion of clean energy industries is critical to the region's economic recovery.
"Right now, with unemployment running at over 15 percent in Michigan, almost 11 percent in Ohio, and 10 percent in Indiana and Illinois -- we know we've got a long way to go," Locke said yesterday in prepared remarks to the group. "Our fight to build a new clean-energy economy is just getting started, and it's a fight we have to win."
Click here to read the Midwestern accord.
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