Quantcast

U.S. Wind Industry Poised for Rebound After Dismal First Half

Business

 A rush by utilities to take advantage of a federal tax credit made late 2012 a historic time for the wind energy sector.

The Production Tax Credit (PTC) expired Dec. 31, 2012, bringing installations to a screeching halt in early 2013. Though Congress temporarily extended the PTC two days later, the industry installed just 1.6 megawatts (MW) during the first quarter. No installations took place in the second quarter, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

Utilities installed 69 MW in the third quarter, which is reason enough for AWEA to predict a rebound in its 2013 Third Quarter Market Report.

Graphic credit: American Wind Energy Association

“We knew the slowdown was coming when the PTC expired and here it is,” Elizabeth Salerno, AWEA’s chief economist, told Bloomberg. “The good news is that utilities are signing new contracts faster than I’ve seen in a long time.”

There were more than 2,327 MW under construction in the U.S. as of Sept. 30. The projects span 13 states, with Texas leading the way with nearly 540 MW under construction, followed by Michigan with 362 MW and Nebraska with 275 MW.

The nation's total installed wind capacity is 60,078 MW, according to AWEA.

Graphic credit: American Wind Energy Association

"Activity is now picking up, however, with utilities issuing at least 28 RFPs [requests for proposal] for wind, renewables or other capacity," the report reads. "These 2013 RFPs have already led to at least 3,900 MW of contracts for new wind builds, with more results forthcoming."

Salerno said companies recently began buying more wind power because prices dropped to $25 per megawatt hour, which is cheaper than any other new power source.

"Some utilities issued their RFPs but then signed up for double or triple the amount," she said.

"The U.S. wind industry is gearing up to meet strong demand for more wind energy going forward," AWEA's report reads.

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

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Anita Desikan

The Trump administration is routinely undermining your ability — and mine, and everyone else's in this country — to exercise our democratic rights to provide input on the administration's proposed actions through the public comment process. Public comments are just what they sound like: an opportunity for anyone in the public, both individuals and organizations, to submit a comment on a proposed rule that federal agencies are required by law to read and take into account. Public comments can raise the profile of an issue, can help amplify the voices of affected communities, and can show policymakers whether a proposal has broad support or is wildly unpopular.

Read More Show Less
Alena Gamm / EyeEm / Getty Images

By Katey Davidson, MScFN

Bananas are one of the world's most popular fruits.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
The Climate Reality Project

Picture this: a world where chocolate is as rare as gold. No more five-dollar bags of candy on Halloween. No more boxes of truffles on Valentine's day. No more roasting s'mores by the campfire. No more hot chocolate on a cold winter's day.

Who wants to live in a world like that?

Read More Show Less
PxHere

By Lisa Wartenberg, MFA, RD, LD

Honey and vinegar have been used for medicinal and culinary purposes for thousands of years, with folk medicine often combining the two as a health tonic (1Trusted Source).

Read More Show Less
Fabian Krause / EyeEm / Getty Images

By Elizabeth Streit, MS, RDN, LD

Paprika is a spice made from the dried peppers of the plant Capsicum annuum.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Water protectors of all persuasions gathered in talking circles at Borderland Ranch in Pe'Sla, the heart of the sacred Black Hills, during the first Sovereign Sisters Gathering. At the center are Cheryl Angel in red and white and on her left, Lyla June. Tracy Barnett

By Tracy L. Barnett

Sources reviewed this article for accuracy.

For Sicangu Lakota water protector Cheryl Angel, Standing Rock helped her define what she stands against: an economy rooted in extraction of resources and exploitation of people and planet. It wasn't until she'd had some distance that the vision of what she stands for came into focus.

Read More Show Less
Hedges, 2019 © Hugh Hayden. All photos courtesy of Lisson Gallery

By Patrick Rogers

"I'm really into trees," said the sculptor Hugh Hayden. "I'm drawn to plants."

Read More Show Less
BruceBlock / iStock / Getty Images

By Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

Thanks to their high concentration of powerful plant compounds, foods with a natural purple hue offer a wide array of health benefits.

Read More Show Less