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 →
The mobile internet revolution has been driven by customers rather than companies, with the most innovative work being done for consumers who often then turn around to companies and ask why they can’t use the same tools at work.
Now – thanks to Google and GE – they can. The two companies have launched a partnership for the utility business that leverages the combination of Google’s customer-facing approach with its ease of use and intuitive maps functions with the deep sector knowledge of GE. Customers accessing GE’s information on energy assets can now load that data on top of Google’s maps functions rather than requiring separate custom-built technology with accompanying training hurdles and potential bugs or mismatches. Keep reading →
Utilities are using only one fifth of the data they collect and create in analysis that can create efficiencies and improve performance, GE says, and the industrial giant is turning up its information technology efforts to help those companies better see and optimize their surging data agglomeration.
The new Grid IQ Insight analytics platform that GE is launching at this week’s high-profile DistribuTECH conference is part of the larger company’s focus on the “industrial internet,” a wave of monitored and intelligent infrastructure that can wring $150 billion of unrealized efficiencies out of the economy, Grid IQ insight product line leader Giri Iyer told Breaking Energy in a recent interview. 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 →
Some US utilities could have weathered Hurricane Sandy better than they did if they had invested in smart grid improvements such as smart-metering, outage management, and distribution management systems, a senior GE official said.
John McDonald, Director of Technical Strategy and Policy Development for GE Digital Energy, said utilities that have not yet installed the technology would have known about outages more quickly, been able to swiftly identify their locations, and been able to assign repair crews more efficiently if they had the enhancements in place. Keep reading →
GE’s Grid IQ Solutions as a Service (SaaS) helps utilities deliver grid modernization technologies, while enabling consumers to use energy more efficiently
Grid modernization projects typically come with a sizable capital-investment requirement and a certain amount of risk when making a long-term technology decision. In addition, there are deployment risks with integrating the disparate software applications associated with delivering the desired level of grid automation. Many small- and mid-market utilities that deliver electric utility services or additional water and gas utility services can benefit from GE’s SaaS offering. 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 →
Natural gas is being taken more seriously as a transportation fuel by U.S. fleet operators and trucking companies, but its scarce availability is standing in the way of widespread adoption by the general public, industry experts said recently.
Despite the clear price advantage enjoyed by the relatively few car and truck drivers that use natural gas, it won’t become a significant source of transportation fuel until there’s a network of publicly available natural gas filling stations comparable to that for gasoline, or until home refueling is a viable option for most consumers, the experts said. Keep reading →
Energy venture capital is a challenging business in the best of times, but greater competition from large non-traditional players and lingering economic weakness in many of the world’s largest economies mean that, more than ever, finding and doing successful deals requires a disciplined, yet open minded approach.
The entrance of large companies into the energy venture capital space, the US elections’ impact on investment cycles, identifying opportunities and dominant sector trends were just a few of the topics Breaking Energy recently discussed with Dr. Wal Van Lierop, CEO of Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital. Keep reading →