Thursday, December 27, 2012

Clouds on the Horizon for Renewables?

Took some forty years to finally move forward, we in the U.S. used to be real good at that and we started instituting alternatives way back, with the obstruction by the special interests blocking that forward movement as they continue doing today, but hopefully what has happened has crossed to where it can't be stopped and coming with the needed innovations to a huge growth industry that benefits everything!

2013: A Cloudy Forecast for Renewable Energy, With a Silver Lining
Dec. 27, 2012 - On the surface, it looks like the renewable energy industry has never been healthier. This year, wind-turbine installation in the U.S. actually outpaced the installation of new natural gas capacity—despite the shale gas boom, which has pushed down the price of natural gas. In 2012 new wind capacity reached 6,519 MW as of Nov. 30, just edging out gas capacity and more than doubling new coal installations. Meanwhile new solar capacity in the U.S. reached nearly 2,000 MW, beating out 2011′s numbers. Globally the stock of installed wind and solar power hit 307 GW in 2011, up from 50 GW in 2004, while total investment in the sector hit $280 billion last year. Those are some bright numbers.

Yet there are clouds on the horizon for renewables. (Sorry—weather metaphors are hard to avoid with wind and solar.) The wind industry faces the loss of the valuable production tax credit next year if Congress can’t get its act together to renew it—and indeed, some of the growth the industry experienced this year may be due to companies rushing to get their projects in while the credit is still in place. (And those capacity figures comparing wind to gas or coal are a bit misleading—the intermittency of renewables means that a MW of wind doesn’t deliver the same amount of actual juice as a MW of gas.) read more>>>

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