With uncertainty over federal tax incentives plaguing the wind energy industry through most of 2012, how did the industry fare last year and what are its short-term prospects for growth? During today’s OnPoint, Peter Kelley, vice president for public affairs at the American Wind Energy Association, discusses the future of the production tax credit for wind energy and the impact of the uncertainty he says his industry continues to face. He also addresses concerns in Congress that the wind industry is receiving too much federal assistance through duplication of incentives.
“We got rid of the wind production tax credit. I worked really hard on it. We got rid of it for 23 hours,” Pompeo, a vocal critic of the tax credit, said during a POLITICO Pro’s Deep Dive on energy and taxes. “But in the Senate they snuck it in — in the dark of night.”
The state would be poised to gain a $300 million wind farm under a bill given resounding initial approval Wednesday. The measure would provide a sales tax exemption for the purchase of turbines, towers and other wind-farm components — a tax break that nearby states Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma have parlayed into a wind-energy boom.
What are the systemwide impacts of the federal government’s Smart Grid Investment Grant program? During today’s OnPoint, Patricia Hoffman, assistant secretary of the Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, discusses the reliability improvements associated with the investments. She also addresses some of the challenges associated with smart grid integration and consumer acceptance.
More than half the U.S. states with laws requiring utilities to buy renewable energy are considering ways to pare back those mandates after a plunge in natural gas prices brought on by technology that boosted supply. Sixteen of the 29 states with renewable portfolio standards are considering legislation that would reduce the need for wind and solar power, according to researchers backed by the U.S. Energy Department. North Carolina lawmakers may be among the first to move, followed by Colorado and Connecticut.
As North Carolina works on destroying its Renewable Portfolio Standard – the policy that’s catapulted it to US leadership – Google is showing how important renewables are to economic development there. Google is planning to expand its data center there, bringing its investment to $1.2 billion, and it wants renewable energy to power it.
Nebraskans looking for a reason why Facebook chose Iowa over the Cornhusker State for a $300 million data center might want to glance at the horizon. In Iowa, you’re much more likely to see a row of wind turbines spinning away.
After 18 months of courtship and competition, Iowa officials announced Tuesday that Facebook has selected a Des Moines suburb as the site for its next data center. The social media giant plans to break ground this summer in Altoona, Iowa, on a $300 million data center that could be the first of three facilities there. Much of the news coverage has focused on the $18 million in tax credits awarded by the state, but Facebook had another reason to “like” Iowa: wind power.
On a showery afternoon last week in West London, a ripple of enthusiasm went through the trading floor of CF Partners, a privately owned financial company. The price of carbon allowances, shown in green lights on a board hanging from the ceiling, was creeping up toward three euros. That is pretty small change — $3.90, or only about 10 percent of what the price was in 2008. But to the traders it came as a relief after the market had gone into free fall to record lows two days earlier, after the European Parliament spurned an effort to shore up prices by shrinking the number of allowances.
A Washington company intends to moor five wind turbines off the Oregon coast, and hopes the project dovetails with a separate proposal for liquefied natural gas.