Americans have become more likely to link extreme weather events to climate change, according to a report released today by researchers at Yale and George Mason universities. Seventy-four percent of Americans said “global warming is affecting weather in the United States,” according to a survey taken in August and September, compared with 69 percent who agreed with that statement in a March survey, the report says.
Europe’s rush for renewable electricity sources to combat climate change has far outpaced the ability of the grid system to carry the new power to where it is needed. The problem is compounded by the fact that most energy policies remain firmly domestic, according to Daniel Dobbeni, head of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity, ENTSO-E. And the imbalance is likely to get much worse before it gets any better, he told a recent U.K. National Grid seminar on possible future energy scenario
“We’ve done extremely well,” John Purcell, Leeco’s vice president for wind energy, said in an interview. Leeco is a unit of O’Neal Industries, a metals-service company based in Birmingham, Alabama.
Now a different sort of economic crisis is looming over the industry. A tax credit fueling wind’s growth expires at the end of this year unless Congress votes to extend it. Wind-energy companies get 2.2 cents for every kilowatt-hour produced, shaving as much as one-third off the costs.
The clean energy sector is closing the gap on fossil fuels, but the wind industry faces significant challenges and could see a free fall in new construction over the next three years, said Ethan Zindler, head of policy analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The decline in new wind power generation, he added, is likely to occur regardless of whether Congress extends a production tax credit (PTC) that has been a blessing to the industry.
The quick growth of China’s manufacturing capacity has led to a huge oversupply of solar panels and wind turbines and a price war. Manufacturers, state-owned banks and local governments are now facing a financial disaster. Panel prices have fallen by three-fourths since 2008, leaving the country’s biggest solar panel makers with losses of up to $1 for every $3 of sales this year.
Deepwater Wind LLC has proposed to start building an offshore wind farm off Rhode Island by early 2014, the company’s chief executive said. The project, 3 miles southeast of Block Island, would be ahead of the Cape Wind farm long expected to be the country’s first offshore facility
Wind energy company Vestas had planned on building a 7-megawatt giant offshore turbine, but has decided to up it to 8 megawatts, in a bid to lower costs and secure buyers. The boost, the company said, has been a possibility since they started work on the V164 platform in March 2011.
The world’s biggest wind turbine producer, Vestas Wind Systems A/S, is consolidating its U.S. research and development operations into one location in Brighton, Colo.
Researchers at the USDA Economic Research Service, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory examined economic data from 1,009 counties in 12 states with high wind-resource potential — Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and New Mexico.Controlling for other factors, their analysis found that each megawatt of installed wind power led to an additional $11,000 in personal income and 0.5 jobs per county during the time period studied.
Proponents of the long-embattled Cape Wind project launched a new campaign this week accusing opponents of the proposed offshore wind farm of being committed to protecting a fossil fuel magnate and not representing the true views of Massachusetts residents. The “Cape Wind Now” campaign is a project of the Conservation Law Foundation and other environmental and labor organizations, and it aims to serve as a counterpoint to the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, which is led by the energy magnate William Koch and has vociferously opposed the offshore wind farm for more than a decade.