News

Texas wind energy boom may go bust if tax subsidies disappear

Source: BILL HANNA, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram • Posted: Friday, August 24th, 2012

South of Sweetwater, hundreds of towering wind turbines from some of the nation’s largest wind farms dot ridge lines as far as the eye can see. North of town, crews are busily erecting new transmission lines to move more wind power from West Texas and the Panhandle to population centers like Fort Worth, Dallas and San Antonio. But the wind industry building boom, which has led Texas to be the nation’s leader in wind energy, could be nearing the end if the production tax credit expires at the end of the year.

Vestas cuts jobs as wind industry faces tax credit expiration

E&E • Posted: Friday, August 24th, 2012

The world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer will be cutting thousands of workers as the struggling company attempts to get out of the red. Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems has said it will lay off 1,400 workers in addition to the 2,300 job cuts it announced at the beginning of the year.

Coal accounts for 10% of 8,100 MW added so far in 2012

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Natural gas and renewable energy resources have effectively replaced coal as the fuels of choice for electric utilities building new generation, according to new data from the Energy Information Administration. That finding, issued in a “Today in Energy” brief from the agency, comes as another dose of bad news for the U.S. coal industry. It has witnessed a steep drop-off in domestic demand as electric utilities increasingly look to alternative fuels to meet their needs

Many farmers in the Midwest still say climate change is bogus

E&E • Posted: Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Despite recent extreme weather events — flooding in 2011 and drought in 2012 — many Midwestern farmers still deny the existence of global warming. By 2030, climate change could cause $1.1 billion to $4.1 billion in losses for Corn Belt farmers, according to the Agriculture Department. Yet only 68 percent of Iowa farmers said they believed the climate was changing, and only about 10 percent of them attributed it to human causes, said an Iowa State University poll.

Vestas wind turbine firm to cut another 1,400 jobs

BBC • Posted: Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Danish wind turbine firm Vestas has announced plans to cut another 1,400 jobs as it prepares for a drop in business next year as demand slows. The company cut its forecasts for the shipments of turbines this year, and said 2013 would be “even tougher”.

China declares US energy projects violate free trade, stepping up trade spat

Source: Washington Post • Posted: Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

China’s government has ruled that U.S. government support to six American solar and wind power projects violates free trade rules, adding to strains between Beijing and its trading partners over renewable energy. The United States and China are the two biggest markets for renewable energy and have pledged to cooperate in developing technology. They accuse each other of improperly supporting their own producers and obstructing foreign competitors.

Is Iowa presidential vote riding on the wind?

Source: By Paul Hammel, WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER • Posted: Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Rob Hach can’t recall the last time he, or any member of his family, didn’t vote Republican. He comes from a long line of German business owners, and Hach has turned three formerly vacant storefronts in a small, northwest Iowa town into an award-winning company that employs 26 people and builds testing equipment for wind farms.

Oregon, U.S. could lose wind power jobs

Source: By KTVZ.COM news sources • Posted: Monday, August 20th, 2012

Like the wind itself, the wind energy industry has blown hot and cold in Oregon. Some blame the lack of effort in Congress to extend the Production Tax Credit for alternative energy, set to expire in about four months. The standstill affects businesses like Met One Instruments in Grants Pass, which makes weather sensors and monitoring equipment.

Energy Week Ahead: Vestas May Offer Plan for Colorado Job Cuts

Source: By Alex Morales and Jim Efstathiou Jr,, Business Week • Posted: Monday, August 20th, 2012

Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS), the world’s biggest wind-turbine maker, is likely to give details this week of its plan to cut as many as 1,600 jobs mainly in Colorado amid a standoff in Congress over a tax break for the industry. Chief Executive Officer Ditlev Engel said in January that U.S. jobs would be scrapped “for sure” unless Congress extends the production tax credit, or PTC, which expires at the end of 2012. He may provide more details Wednesday when the Aarhus, Denmark-based company reports earnings for the first half of 2012. Gamesa Corp. (GAM) Tecnologica SA and other manufacturers in the industry also have announced layoffs.

FAA certifies — again — Cape Wind won’t threaten air traffic

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, August 17th, 2012

Federal regulators yesterday certified that an offshore wind farm in Nantucket Sound would not endanger air traffic in the area, reiterating its determination for the fourth time after local activists won a procedural challenge to an earlier version.