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

Pexels

By Ketura Persellin

Global consumption of beef, lamb and goat is expected to rise by almost 90 percent between 2010 and 2050. But that doesn't mean you need to eat more meat. In fact, recent news from Washington gives you even less confidence in your meat: Pork inspections may be taken over by the industry itself, if a Trump administration proposal goes into effect, putting tests for deadly pathogens into the hands of line workers.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Kaitlyn Berkheiser

While enjoying an occasional alcoholic beverage is unlikely to harm your health, drinking in excess can have substantial negative effects on your body and well-being.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
MStudioImages / E+ / Getty Images

By Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

Backpacking is an exciting way to explore the wilderness or travel to foreign countries on a budget.

Read More Show Less
Tim P. Whitby / 21st Century Fox / Getty Images

The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.

Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.

The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.

Read More Show Less
A protest march against the Line 3 pipeline in St. Paul, Minnesota on May 18, 2018. Fibonacci Blue / CC BY 2.0

By Collin Rees

We know that people power can stop dangerous fossil fuel projects like the proposed Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline in Minnesota, because we've proved it over and over again — and recently we've had two more big wins.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Scientists released a study showing that a million species are at risk for extinction, but it was largely ignored by the corporate news media. Danny Perez Photography / Flickr / CC

By Julia Conley

Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.

Read More Show Less
DoneGood

By Cullen Schwarz

Ethical shopping is a somewhat new phenomenon. We're far more familiar with the "tried and tested" methods of doing good, like donating our money or time.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

Summer is fast approaching, which means it's time to stock up on sunscreen to ward off the harmful effects of sun exposure. Not all sunscreens are created equally, however.

Read More Show Less