Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

The Future of Wind Power

Energy
The Future of Wind Power

U.S. Energy Information Administration

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Many wind projects are planning to come on line before the end of 2012, in advance of the possible expiration of a federal incentive, the wind production tax credit (PTC). It appears that wind developers are pushing to complete projects in 2012 to qualify for the PTC. Under current law, projects that begin operating prior to the end of 2012 are eligible to receive a 2.2-cent PTC for each kilowatthour of generation over a 10-year period. Similar behavior in the face of previous PTC expirations was discussed in an earlier Today in Energy article describing the history of the wind PTC.

EIA collects monthly updates on modifications, retirements and additions to the nation's fleet of power plants, including the planned date of commercial operation for new generators.

 

Wind plant developers reported increasing amounts of new capacity scheduled to enter commercial operation in 2012 as the year progressed. Even as completed projects accumulated during 2012 (see chart, dark blue bars), the amount of capacity expected to come on line before the end of the year continued to increase (light blue bars plus dark blue bars). As of Nov. 30, the wind capacity planned to come on line by the end of December would account for approximately half of the total 2012 wind capacity additions.

Wind generators accounted for a significant portion of capacity additions since 2007 (see chart below), and were the largest source for generating capacity additions in 2008 and 2009. If all planned wind generators for 2012 come on line, as reported by industry participants, wind capacity additions could top 12,000 MW for this year. This would account for 45 percent of total additions and exceed capacity additions from any other fuel source, including natural gas, which was the leading fuel source for electric generating capacity additions in 2010 and 2011.

Detailed data on each generator addition and retirement are available in the Electric Power Monthly (in tables ES3 and ES4, respectively). These data represent responses to EIA's monthly update survey of existing electric generators. An annual survey will collect final data from all industry participants early next year.

Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on this topic.

——–

Click here to tell Congress to Expedite Renewable Energy.

 

A grizzly bear killed an outdoor guide in a rare attack near Yellowstone Park. William Campbell / Corbis / Getty Images

A backcountry guide has died after being mauled by a grizzly bear near Yellowstone National Park.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) re-introduces the Green New Deal in Washington, D.C. on April 20, 2021. Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images

By Brett Wilkins

In the latest of a flurry of proposed Green New Deal legislation, Reps. Cori Bush and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Monday introduced the Green New Deal for Cities Act of 2021, a $1 trillion plan to "tackle the environmental injustices that are making us and our children sick, costing us our homes, and destroying our planet."

Read More Show Less
Trending
Offshore oil and gas drillers have left more than 18,000 miles of pipelines at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Offshore oil and gas drillers have discarded and abandoned more than 18,000 miles of pipelines on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico since the 1960s, a report from the Government Accountability Office says.

Read More Show Less
Concerns over drinking polluted water top a recent Gallup poll on environmental threats. sonsam / Getty Images

Americans are most worried about water quality compared to other environmental issues, a new Gallup survey finds.

Read More Show Less
The black cherries of Coffea stenophylla. E. Couturon / IRD, Author provided

By Aaron P Davis

The world loves coffee. More precisely, it loves arabica coffee. From the smell of its freshly ground beans through to the very last sip, arabica is a sensory delight.

Robusta, the other mainstream coffee crop species, is almost as widely traded as arabica, but it falls short on flavor. Robusta is mainly used for instant coffee and blends, while arabica is the preserve of discerning baristas and expensive espressos.

Read More Show Less