The US wind power industry had a banner year in 2012, as developers raced to bring on projects before the federal production tax credit was set to expire at the end of the year. The frantic rush to take advantage of the tax incentive resulted in some impressive statistics highlighted in the American Wind Energy Association’s U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report for 2012, released Thursday.
Breaking Energy recently sat down with AWEA’s vice president of public affairs Peter Kelley ahead of the launch to gain some insight into what made 2012 so important and what to expect from the industry going forward. Keep reading →
They took it right to the edge, but the US wind energy business managed to rescue the production tax credit around which many of their projects and manufacturing investments are structured. In the process Capitol Hill supporters of the sector rescued a claimed 37,000 jobs and the supply chain for a rapidly expanding form of power generation.
The effort to rescue the wind energy PTC and the also-extended investment tax credit (ITC) was not directly linked to the fiscal cliff debate, but became intertwined with the calendar-driven effort to prevent earlier tax cuts and credits from expiring without any replacement policy in place. The inclusion of the wind energy PTC, which was thought to be sufficiently likely to expire that companies spent significant sums as they rushed to turn on wind farms before the end of 2012, speaks to the expanded power of the wind industry groups in Washington, DC and the increased centrality of the wind energy business to major infrastructure and engineering firms with substantial US manufacturing operations including GE Energy, Siemens and Vestas. Keep reading →
A Vietnamese employee of GE’s newly built turbine generator factory walks in front of wind turbine components inside an assembly line in the northern coastal city of Hai Phong on October 15, 2010.
GE last month celebrated its 20,000th wind turbine installation, a gargantuan achievement given the US power generation giant only stepped into the sector in 2002 when it purchased the wind power assets from recently bankrupted Enron. Keep reading →
US President Barack Obama tours the General Electric Plant with GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt (L) and plant manager Kevin Sharkey January 21, 2011 in Schenectady, New York.
General Electric recently announced $1.2bn orders for its new FlexEfficiency 60 turbine, which the company claims is a step change for the industry in its ability to supply both baseload power and ramp quickly to smooth intermittent loads from solar and wind. Keep reading →
New markets are the Holy Grail for businesses, but success in accessing and serving new markets is far from easy. The difficulties are multiplied when those new markets are in parts of the world where language, culture and regulation are completely different.
Brazil’s energy market is undergoing a transformation that opens up new opportunities for many businesses that might have steered clear of the tightly regulated sector in the past, despite the obvious temptations offered by the country’s broader economic growth trajectory. Keep reading →
Over the last decade, wind energy has catapulted from a fringe energy option to an economic, mainstream, $50 billion a year industry that employs 300,000 people globally. Over the last decade, technology advancements have driven the cost of wind down 60%, while the price of oil has surged over 350%. In fact, 40% of new power installations in America over the past five years have been wind energy. The success of wind power has become so widespread in the US that even companies like Walmart, Anheuser Busch and Nestle are becoming power producers using the technology.
Last week, the United States celebrated the milestone of 50 GW of installed wind power, demonstrating wind’s value as a mainstream, domestic source of energy for America. Fifty gigawatts is big: it’s enough capacity to power 12.8 million American homes, or meet the electricity demands of Nevada, Colorado, Wisconsin, Virginia, Alabama and Connecticut through wind power alone. Keep reading →
IT is poised to revolutionize the energy industry by ceding control of consumption and generation to consumers and lead to an “age of empowerment”, an influential figure in the wholesale power sector said yesterday.
David Crane, the outspoken CEO of NRG Energy, told the Cleantech Forum in San Francisco: “We’ve come a long way from the days of the legendary Henry Ford and his comment that the American consumer can have any color of model T as long as it’s black. Keep reading →
GE’s energy investment arm has more than doubled its global solar power investment commitments since early 2011. The company recently reached $1.4 billion in cumulative solar investment, and has enabled nearly $5 billion in solar project value.
“We continue to seek to invest in the best solar power projects – with solid partners, power contracts and proven technology,” says Kevin Walsh, Managing Director and leader of power and renewable energy at GE Energy Financial Services. Keep reading →
“Companies that don’t get this really risk becoming irrelevant,” says GE Ecoimagination VP Mark Vachon in this highlight video reel from the Ceres investor summit held at the UN’s headquarters in New York City last week.
The consensus among the speakers featured in the video is that investing with climate change in mind can mean investing in renewable energy projects with “bond-like” stable returns. It also means considering climate change risks like erosion and crop impacts. Keep reading →