Posting in Energy
The U.S. wind power market -- one of the fastest-growing in the world -- could see its expansion derailed by three factors, including an expiring tax credit that used to enjoy bipartisan support.
The U.S. wind power market -- one of the fastest-growing in the world in 2011 -- could see its expansion derailed by the expiration of key federal tax incentives coupled with continued low natural gas prices and modest electricity demand growth, the U.S. Energy Department said in its annual assessment of the industry.
The Energy Department's sixth annual Wind Technologies Market Report, which was released today, showed 32 percent of newly installed power-generating capacity in 2011 came from wind, amounting to $14 billion of investment. About 6,800 megawatts of new wind power capacity was added in 2011 to the U.S. grid, a 31 percent increase from the previous year. The nation's wind power capacity, which reached 47,000 MW at the end of last year, has since grown to 50,000 MW. Check out the DOE's interactive wind energy map to dig into the details.
The growth in capacity has, in turn, bolstered domestic manufacturing with nearly 70 percent of all equipment installed at U.S. wind farms being made in America.
All of this good news is being used by the Obama Administration during the president's three-day bus tour through Iowa (the country's No. 2 win power production state) to drive home the central point: ending the wind production tax credit, which pays wind producers 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour could dramatically slow new wind installations in 2013.
Little can be done politically about the other two primary threats -- natural gas prices and electricity demand. The production tax credit, or PTC, is another story.
The PTC has enjoyed bipartisan support in the past. The PTC was passed during the administration of President George H.W. Bush. The PTC faces a tougher, more critical crowd in the Republican-led House of Representatives, where support runs thin for government-backed renewable energy projects.
Other key takeaways in the report:
- While wind installations were 31 percent higher than in 2010, they were still well below the levels seen in 2008 and 2009.
- The U.S. remained the second-largest market (behind China) in annual and cumulative wind power capacity additions, but was well behind the market leaders in wind energy penetration. For example, the cumulative winbd power capacity installed at the end of 2011 is estimated to equal roughly 3.3 percent of U.S. electricity demand. Wind supplies the equivalent of 29 percent of Denmark's electricity demand, 19 percent of Portugal's, 19 percent of Spain's, 18 percent of Ireland's and 11 percent of Germany's.
Aug 14, 2012
Tax credits are one of the reasons that GE paid no US corporate taxes last year... and lots of people cried fowl.
... the wholly-owned news industry finally has the guts to report the real news on cold fusion. It has come back with a vengence, with real, accredited scientists reporting impossible-to-fake -or explain away- substantial power outputs. About 100 teams are out there, and many are replicating each other. Meanwhile a smaller number of corporations are claiming large (>1,000 watts) powers, reliable operation, high temperatures. A few of these are fakes, I imagine, but some are legit, and very impressive. None have verified their equipment publicly with a recognized testing organization, apparently all being very concerned about their Intellectual Property. (Aarrggh! - I have blown my cover, my credibility, my.. what shall I do?) Okay, forget the second paragraph, it's all true but too much, much too much. Concentrate on the first, about Scientists. Go. Check Google. Honest. Use 'LENR', MIT, Celani, NI, C-cat. Oh, and this also takes out solar, algae, ethanol, tides. And OPEC, shale oil, tar sands. Ol' Bab, who was an engineer.
The first light bulbs burned out in a matter of seconds, and yet they were developed into one of the most formidable lighting sources after about 78 years of development. Looks like it's a really good thing they weren't developed in Massachusetts or we would still use candles! Wind, water(hydro), solar and geothermal are the best resources to put to work making power. We really need these technologies. Oil, gas and coal are finite fuels that can be fickle to obtain, and become increasingly costly when scarce... never mind factoring in the refining and transport costs. Then again their byproducts may become a huge problem in our biosphere's tenuous balance. Intelligent decisions and commitments need to be made soon, in the interest of people and planet, not solely based on profits.
This is one of the few renewable resources that we have. Nothing is perfect at first blush however the U. S. has made major improvement in a new technology. Lets not throw out the baby with the bath water but rather work to make it better. I'm rarely behind any new or renewed tax credit coming from Washington yet this one seems worth investing in.
is economics. Until wind can actually compete on price with other sources, it's going to need tax credits to make it worthwhile. That's the real threat: it costs too much.
The Oil Industry, Big Coal, and the Republican lead Congress! Living in Nevada, I really feel bad for my states' lack of a good rating in this area considering the amount of free space that is entirely Government owned. That and the amount of wind power that is naturally produced due to the high temperature variations in a desert environment. Mean while, the upcoming project that will show just how well this state could do slowly drags its way to completion......
Almost every large turbine installed in Massachusetts under the stimulus act is now shutdown because of design flaws and / or construction mistakes. Some of of the alleged 54 MW of wind power production installed in Massachusetts has been off line since 2010 with many still down that will not be back online until 2013. The most pathetic incident revolves around a turbine installed on the northern outskirts of Boston near the water front. Very visable from I93 coming into the city. It sits there with visable rust already. The foundation was so poorly built the mast has a tilt that will rip apart the turbine if allowed to spin in winds it was designed to produce peak power at. Another turbine in Princeton chewed up a gear box just over a year and a half after it went on line. It died in August of 2011 and the replacement parts were due in May 2012. As of June 2012 the turbine was still offline. The project is killing the town because the turbines have not produced the promised level of energy forcing the town operated power company to buy power from the grid. http://www.thelandmark.com/news/2012-06-14/Princeton_News/Refinancing_gearbox_repair_will_help_Light_Departm.html
You are living in a dream world if you think that Oil Companies and Coal mining companies are trying to kill off wind power. No, they are investing in them. As long as the Government pays them to. They are also the major players in 'biofuels'. However, the truth is that wind power is not economically competitive with coal based power. Generally, for every KW of wind power, the utility has to have a KW of coal/oil/gas based power standing by for when the wind stops. Germany is going through that now. The political decision to abandon Nuclear Power and rely on Wind and Solar means that they are going through a massive build up of coal based power. Sorry, but Wind and Solar are not "clean" in practice. The backup is usually dirty old coal. It's the cheapest because it is the most abundant. I have lived in Nevada, and the wind does stop. Las Vegas gets most of it's power from coal. Second place is nuclear and third is Hydro. Solar and wind are down around 1%. when I lived in Las Vegas, I was an Engineer for the power company there. The good looking numbers in this article are set against a background of total power provided at less than 1%. Even with the growth claimed, it's still less than 1%.
Here in Oregon we have over 1000 wind turbines producing over 2500 MW of electricity with none of the problems you bring up that I've heard of. Don't paint the whole industry with the problems that happen in a few installations.
I think the problem here was the rush to build them in time to meet stimulus funding deadlines brought on much of the shoddy work.