The American Wind Energy Association reports in 2014, wind energy in Kansas provided 21.7 percent (five years ahead of schedule) of all electricity generated in the state (2,967 megawatts (MW) of wind energy). By the end of 2015, another 872 MW will come online because wind is the lowest cost option in Kansas. Additionally, power purchase agreements have been announced for an additional 401.5 MW, putting Kansas over the 4,200 MW mark for clean energy, behind only Texas, California and Iowa.
A poll by North Star Opinion Research shows bi-partisan support for the Renewable Portfolio Standard from 75% of Kansas’ voters. 63% of Kansans support increasing the RPS to 25% by 2025.
Sixteen leading Chambers of Commerce and Economic Development Organizations including Topeka, Hutchinson and the Greater KC Chamber sent a letter to legislators this year, indicating their strong support for keeping the RPS as an economic development tool. An industry that has created 12,000 jobs and attracted $8 billion in investment should be expanded, not retracted.
"Setting a goal of 20 percent when the state is already at 21.7% is absurd, and is only political theater to appease the opponents of wind power, who have been unable to win for four years,” said Annie Kuether, Ranking Minority Member of the House Energy & Environment Committee.
Major corporations in Kansas are buying wind power to help them meet their own sustainability goals, like Mars and Unilever. Kansas’ utilities will continue to invest in clean energy because it’s the most cost effective way to hasten their transition to a clean energy economy.
"Wind power is an unstoppable juggernaut at this point,” said Dorothy Barnett, executive director, Climate + Energy Project. "Having an RPS on the books is a sign to the world that Kansas is open for business for developing more wind power, and for attracting the kind of forward looking companies that are creating jobs for the 21st century."
"Changing it to a goal that we’ve already surpassed is just silly,” added Barnett.