May 12, 2012

North American Windpower

A friend has sent us these excerpts from the May 2012 issue of the trade journal North American Windpower.

Pressure Applied in States to Widen RPS Allowances

"It's disconcerting to even have the conversation," [George Cannon, a partner at Dallas-based law firm Patton Boggs,] continues. "Any attempt to water down or cancel an RPS has a chilling effect on investment."

Cannon says that any potential elimination or alteration of federal incentives and state mandates places into question the future viability of wind energy.

"The RPS mandates are effectively what creates the market, assuming there are no other structures in place, such as feed-in tariffs," he says. "If you roll back the RPS, then you are eliminating much of the market for the renewable off-take."

Global Wind Market Demands Industry Evolution

To make matters worse [emphasis added], load growth in the U.S. in non-existent, with 2012 electricity consumption projected to remain 1% below 2007 peaks. ...

As a consequence of the aforementioned issues, turbine prices in the U.S. are approaching unsustainable levels. ...

Clipper Windpower's Liberty turbine design was very innovative. However, ongoing doubts remain regarding the durability of its quantum-drive powertrain, which, in turn, lead to concerns regarding long-term warranty exposure and put future sales at risk. Reinventing the group was an option for United Technologies Corp. [who divested its recently acquired Clipper assets], but to do so would require a great deal of time and investment, especially given the unique architecture of the Liberty concept. ...

Nordex recently announced that its joint venture deal [with Vestas] fell through and that it is exiting the offshore wind business completely.

California Wind Market Is 'Not for the Faint of Heart'

... rabid environmentalists ...

Navigating California's Regulatory Maze

Because California's four primary areas for wind farm development are now largely saturated, developers are moving into many new regions of the state that host a combination of renowned natural landscapes, community activism, cultural resources and diligent government oversight.

wind power, wind energy, environment, environmentalism