Pennsylvania’s 700 commercial wind turbines loom large along ridges, but their number and size belie their contribution to electricity generation.
Despite government subsidies, technological advancements that improved the turbines’ efficiency, and environmental advantages over burning fossil fuels, wind energy provided just 1.5 percent of the state’s electricity last year and less than 4 percent of the nation’s.
“In Pennsylvania it’s pretty anemic,” said Gregory Reed, a University of Pittsburgh professor who directs the Electric Power Initiative and is associate director of the school’s Center for Energy.
State law requires 18 percent of electricity must come from alternative fuel sources and renewables such as wind, solar and hydropower by 2021.
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