News

Wind turbines wearing down faster than expected, study asserts

Special to E&E • Posted: Monday, January 7th, 2013

Wind turbines installed in Denmark and the United Kingdom are wearing down faster than manufacturers expected, a new study claims. The study is billed as the largest of its kind and looked at 3,000 onshore and offshore turbines in operation between 2000 and 2011. But it was published by the U.K.-based Renewable Energy Foundation (REF), a think tank that has campaigned against wind farms, which prompted the wind industry to accuse it of bias.

With long-term fate of PTC in balance, big utility assesses its relationship with wind industry

Source: Nick Juliano and Hannah Northey, E&E reporters • Posted: Monday, January 7th, 2013

A top utility is reassessing its membership in the wind industry’s main trade association to focus on lobbying Congress to modify the key tax incentive designed to support construction of wind turbines and send benefits directly to wind purchasers. Xcel Energy, which provides more electricity from wind than any other investor-owned utility, is evaluating whether to stay with the American Wind Energy Association over a disagreement with the trade association over the best way for the government to create incentives for wind development. The company supported an extension of the production tax credit — which was enacted this week after an intense lobbying push from AWEA — but also sought to augment the credit with an incentive that would go directly to utilities.

Tax credit extension for wind industry brings uncertainty

Source: By Emily Nohr, Omaha WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER • Posted: Monday, January 7th, 2013

OPPD and NPPD are about halfway toward goals of having 10 percent of their energy mix come from renewable sources by 2020. With the current projects under way, both will meet the goals way ahead of schedule, Rich said, adding that the utilities hope wind development will continue in the state. “The best opportunity is exporting the rest,” he said. Rich said that other parts of the United States could use Nebraska’s wind energy and that the state needs to re-evaluate ways it can be competitive in the industry. Nebraska ranks fourth in wind resources, according to the American Wind Energy Association, but as of 2011 ranked 25th in megawatts generated.

3 new Republican members join Energy and Natural Resources

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, January 4th, 2013

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will add three Republican members this year, including two conservative freshmen, GOP leadership announced today. Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.), two of their party’s more conservative members, will join the panel, while Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) will return to the committee after a stint on Environment and Public Works, which he is leaving. They will be taking over for Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Daniel Coats (R-Ind.).

The fiscal cliff deal helped wind power. But our wind policy is still insane.

Source: Brad Plumer, Washington Post • Posted: Friday, January 4th, 2013

As part of the bargain, Congress extended a key tax credit for wind power for another year — at a cost of some $12 billion over 10 years. Not only that, but Congress made a small tweak: Wind producers won’t have to finish their projects by 2013 to qualify for the production tax credit. They’ll just have to begin building this year. That’s a crucial change that could give the U.S. wind industry a boost in the decade ahead. But even with the tax credit renewal, the wind industry is still likely to slump next year. And that’s partly because congressional support for wind is extremely erratic — never steady, and always on the verge of expiration.

Opinion: Sen. Bernie Sanders Defends Wind Industry Subsidies

Wall Street Journal • Posted: Friday, January 4th, 2013

I have been trying to figure out what principle underlies your opposition to encouraging the development of clean, renewable energy sources that create American jobs and could help us avoid the planetary calamity of global warming. Are you really worried about budget deficits? While railing against modest incentives for wind energy, you say nothing of the more than $113 billion in federal subsidies that will go to fossil-fuel industries over the next 10 years alone. These subsidies benefit some of the wealthiest corporations on the planet, including the five largest oil corporations, which made a combined profit of $1 trillion over the last decade.

Interior seeks industry interest in N.Y. coastal waters

Source: Phil Taylor, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, January 4th, 2013

The Obama administration today said it is gauging industry interest in developing wind power in a 127-square-mile area off the coast of New York, where a state power organization has proposed building a 350-megawatt wind farm. If no other parties are interested in developing the area, the Interior Department said it would consider granting the New York Power Authority the exclusive right to build a project.

Wind Power Changes Iowa Landscape In Multiple Ways

Source: by SONARI GLINTON, Morning Edition • Posted: Friday, January 4th, 2013

Despite their frustration with Congress, some farmers are relieved, but not because of the money they make on their crops. In part of the fiscal cliff deal, Congress extended a tax credit that benefits the wind energy industry. And that is today’s bottom-line in business. The landscapes of Midwestern farm states have changed dramatically, due to wind power. As NPR’s Sonari Glinton reports, wind has also changed the landscape economically and politically.

The Wind Industry Gets to Draw Another Breath

Source: By MATTHEW L. WALD, New York Times • Posted: Friday, January 4th, 2013

In the last-minute tax maneuvering in Congress this week, wind power came out well. Wind not only got an extension of its tax credit in the federal budget compromise, but the rules were also restructured: while the extension runs for only one year, the nature of the deadline has changed. Projects do not need to be finished and feeding electricity to the grid by next New Year’s Eve; construction only needs to be started.

Wind tax credit is extended a year

BLOOMBERG NEWS • Posted: Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

A one year extension of the U.S. tax credit for wind power, part of the budget compromise Congress passed Tuesday, will save as many as 37,000 jobs in an industry that is expected to stall this year, the American Wind Energy Association estimates. The production tax credit was due to expire at the end of 2012. It will cover all wind projects that start construction in 2013.