News

OPINION: Wistful hopes for US offshore wind energy

Source: By Derrick Z. Jackson, BOSTON GLOBE COLUMNIST DECEMBER 29, 2012 • Posted: Monday, December 31st, 2012

DESPITE ITS promise, the American wind industry is caught in the crosswinds of American politics — and that uncertain situation set up a surreal contrast when wind enterprises gathered here to tout their technologies.
The American Wind Energy Association’s conference exhibition hall was full of European and multinational firms that are busy plunging scores of turbines into their waters. German developers talked about how the industry has transformed rusting homeland harbors into bustling ports, while British officials boasted that industry investment in offshore wind will leap from $8 billion in the last decade to $80 billion in the next eight years.

Colorado’s wind energy industry’s fate hinges on federal tax credit

Source: By Mark Jaffe, The Denver Post • Posted: Monday, December 31st, 2012

Colorado political and business leaders made a big push to develop a wind-turbine industry, which in the space of about six years created more than 5,000 jobs. Now, that is in jeopardy as the federal wind-production tax credit — equal to 2.2 cents for each kilowatt-hour that a wind farm produces — is set to expire at the end of this year.

Developers of Wind Farms Run a Race Against the Calendar

Source: By MATTHEW L. WALD, New York Times • Posted: Monday, December 31st, 2012

Forget about parties, resolutions or watching the ball drop. To Iberdrola Renewables, New Year’s Eve will mean checking on last-minute details like the data connections between 169 new wind turbines in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and California and its control center in Portland, Ore. All over the country, developers are in a sprint to get new wind farms up and running before Tuesday, when the federal wind production tax credit will disappear like Cinderella’s ball gown. After that, the nation’s wind-farm building will be at a virtual standstill.

An Industry’s Future, Blowing in the Wind

Source: By MATTHEW L. WALD, New York Times • Posted: Monday, December 31st, 2012

As I note in Friday’s paper, construction of new wind farms is going to grind to a halt with the end, at least temporarily, of the wind production tax credit. What’s next? The credit is worth 2.2 cents per killowatt-hour generated, beyond whatever the electricity can be sold for on the regional market. At some hours of the day, most or all of the revenue will come from the tax credit.

Wind turbine installations soar as tax credit deadline looms

Source: By EHREN GOOSSENS & CHRISTOPHER MARTIN Bloomberg News • Posted: Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

Wind turbine installations have been exceeding the construction of natural gas plants in recent months as developers rush to complete projects before the expiration of a tax credit for renewable energy. New wind capacity reached 6,519 megawatts by Nov. 30, beating the 6,335 megawatts of natural gas additions and more than double those of coal, according to data from Ventyx Inc., which is owned by the Swiss power transmission equipment maker ABB Ltd. “Wind will very likely beat gas, but it may be close,” said Amy Grace, who leads North American wind industry analysis for Bloomberg New Energy Finance in New York. “I think it’s very likely that we get over 8 gigawatts for 2012.”

Forget Fracking: 2012 Was A Powerful Year For Renewables

Source: by SCOTT DETROW, NPR • Posted: Monday, December 24th, 2012

Natural gas may have reshaped the domestic energy market in 2012, lowering energy prices and marginalizing the coal industry, but America’s shale boom hasn’t undermined renewables.

Wind industry continues online push for credit extension

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, December 24th, 2012

With the prospects of averting the “fiscal cliff” growing bleak since last night’s collapse of action in the House, the wind industry’s lobby is continuing its push for an extension of a key tax credit with a video featuring one family whose livelihood is tied to the credit’s future.

Interior advances floating turbine proposal, will review Va. research lease

Source: Phil Taylor, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, December 21st, 2012

The Interior Department this week advanced a Norwegian company’s proposal to install the nation’s first floating wind turbines off the coast of Maine and said it would also review the state of Virginia’s plan to gauge wind resources off its shore. The two announcements signaled continued momentum in the Obama administration’s plan to expedite offshore wind development from Georgia to Maine. The agency late last month said it will hold the nation’s first competitive lease sales for offshore wind in 2013 off the coasts of Virginia, Massachusetts and Rhode Island

FERC revises which transmission facilities must meet reliability standards

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, December 21st, 2012

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today accepted a new definition of the “bulk electric system” that changes which transmission lines and facilities must follow mandatory reliability standards. In line with the advice of the North American Electric Reliability Corp., the proposal sets a strict threshold of 100 kilovolts, rather than giving regional grid overseers authority to choose what should count as part of the bulk electric system.

Without resolution in sight, PTC remains stuck amid varying proposals, priorities

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, December 21st, 2012

All year, the wind industry’s lobbying arm has been asking Congress for one thing: an immediate extension of its prized tax credit for wind farms that begin construction next year. But a brief renewal of the production tax credit will not be all the support the industry needs over a longer time frame, and a growing mix of proposals is being floated on Capitol Hill to give the industry the certainty it says it needs. The result is a cloudy picture of what the industry can expect lawmakers to deliver, as the narrow debate over wind remains overshadowed by the larger fight over the “fiscal cliff” and increasing fear that Congress will not meet the end-of-the-year deadline to avoid those sweeping tax increases and spending cuts.