By Mark Halper
Posting in Energy
Regulatory uncertainty, subsidy cuts, grid connection woes are taking the puff out of the business.
Global orders for wind turbines plummeted 30 percent in the first half of 2012 compared to the same period a year ago, according to a Danish research company.
Copenhagen-based MAKE attributed the decline to "weakness in core markets in Asia Pacific and Europe, in particular China, India, UK and Germany."
In addition it said that, "Regulatory uncertainty, subsidy cuts and grid connectivity issues all contributed to the weakness and offset good growth in new emerging markets."
Although the U.S. was a bright spot, the growth was illusory because companies merely rushed to install wind projects before the federal production tax credit (PTC) likely expires at the end of the year, MAKE noted.
The PTC provides tax breaks of 2.2 cents per kilowatt hour to wind producers. It first appeared in 1992, as part of that year's Energy Policy Act. A recent Marketwire press relese from Industrial Info Resources noted that Congress has frequently renewed the PTC but has also allowed it to expire three times. After each expiration, the number of annual turbine installations plunged by between 73 percent and 93 percent, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
In contrast to the slump in core markets, Latin America recorded "high order activity," MAKE noted.
Overall, MAKE predicts continuing yearly global decline through 2013, when it forecasts sales to register 5 percent less than 2011 levels. Sounding a cautious longer term note of optimism, it said that "order flow could improve in 2013 and beyond."
Photo: Courtesy Toronto Public Library, Special Collections, via Flickr.
Stiff breezes, blow hards, and other windy business on SmartPlanet:
- Harnessing the jet stream for wind turbines
- U.S. approves wind power for 1 million homes
- Make way for renewable energy's blade runner
- Donald Trump on wind energy and tourism: ‘I am an expert’
- Donald Trump blasts wind in Scotland
- US, UK join forces on ‘floating’ offshore wind turbines
- Floating wind farm on Fukushima’s horizon
- U.S. opens Outer Continental Shelf to wind power
- Siemens bags another offshore wind project
- Looney threat to world’s largest offshore wind farm
- Wind turbines: Pretty in pylon?
Jul 29, 2012
may also be something to do with wind energy being absurdly expensive, unreliable and ugly to name just three of many deficiencies. The carbon free answer to energy generation could be encapsulated in one word: thorium, but we seem to be content to leave it to our competitors, mainly India and China while expending our resources on a pipe dream.
...instead of windmills, this might be a different story. Without solving the base load problem first, our brilliant leaders have put the cart before the ox. But the problem is that the storage tech issue is much more difficult and hard to understand that windmills which everyone understands, and make for great photo-ops for politicians who wish to look green. (Except at Nantucket, where they are unpopular because they spoil the views of the "rich" environmentalists)
Considering that all 4 large turbines installed in Massachusetts since 2008 are currently off line because of structural design and installation flaws. None of them have been working for the last 14 months or longer. It will be at least another 6 before any are repaired and operational. Your stimulus tax dollars hard at work.