Iowa’s wind energy producers and manufacturers are scrambling to finance new projects in the next two months because they don’t know if the Federal Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit they rely on heavily will be available after then. MidAmerican Energy Co., the nation’s largest wind power generator among rate-regulated utilities, has no plans beyond December to expand its wind energy projects, company media relations manager Tina Potthoff said.
Appearing in Iowa on Friday, which gets nearly a fifth of its electricity from wind, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said he would “phase out” support for renewable and nuclear energy once those industries are mature. The line appeared to some as if Romney was signing on to an idea that is gaining currency within the wind industry — and its supporters on Capitol Hill — as it faces a looming expiration of the prized production tax credit at the end of this year: to gradually reduce the PTC over several years, rather than letting it lapse this year.
The wind industry, fighting to hold onto a generous tax credit set to expire in December, has been arguing that it does not need the support forever – just a little while longer, until it can compete with fossil fuels on its own. The tax break subsidizes wind power by 2.2 cents a kilowatt hour to bring its cost closer to that of conventional fuels, and it has periodically been renewed by Congress with support from both parties. But like other subsidies for alternative energy, it has been tarred in some people’s eyes by the government’s investment in the failed solar company Solyndra and has become a wedge issue in the presidential contest. President Obama wants the credit extended, while Mitt Romney has urged that it expire as scheduled.
Port officials here are vowing to roll out the red carpet for the nascent offshore wind industry. The Port of Virginia, home to Naval Station Norfolk and the world’s largest military-industrial complex, hopes to become a home base for assembling, shipping and installing massive wind turbines for mid-Atlantic power projects.
BOSTON, Massachusetts, October 25, 2012 (ENS) – Two dozen investors with more than $800 billion in assets under management are urging an immediate extension of the production tax credit for renewable energy, which expires December 31. The investors say this tax credit supports the U.S. wind industry by creating economic benefits for wind power producers and their suppliers. In a letter delivered to Congressional leaders on Wednesday, the investors ask Congress to extend the tax credit before it expires. First passed by President George H. W. Bush in 1992, the credit amounts to 2.2 cents for each kilowatt-hour of renewable power generated.
Officials from the energy storage industry yesterday gave a sunny outlook for their sector despite financial trouble among some players, citing new projects, growing markets and advances in storage technology.
Wind power posted the greatest gain in domestic energy consumption in 2011 as overall energy use dropped, according to an analysis by the Energy Department’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Energy consumption from wind power rose 27 percent in 2011 to 1.17 quadrillion Btu (British thermal units), up from 0.92 in 2010, LLNL said, citing U.S. Energy Information Administration data.
The Obama administration today said it has reached an agreement to issue an offshore wind lease about a dozen miles from the Delaware coast, the second in the United States and the first under the Interior Department’s “smart from the start” program in the mid-Atlantic. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said the noncompetitive lease gives NRG Bluewater Wind Delaware LLC the exclusive right to set up meteorological towers and buoys and develop a construction and operating plan for a commercial wind farm.
U.S. wind power developers are installing record-high numbers of turbines in 2012 but that growth could weaken if a production tax credit expires at the end of this year, an industry group says. The U.S. wind industry in August for the first time surpassed 50,000MW of generation capacity – enough to power 13 million homes, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) says in a report.
Gov. Dave Heineman gave conditional support to extending the federal tax credit for wind power Monday after speaking at the Nebraska Wind Conference. The credit, set to expire at the end of the year, has become a contested issue in the presidential race, with Democratic President Barack Obama saying he would extend it while Republican challenger Mitt Romney wants to let it end.