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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

February 3, 2012

Why the Clean Tech Boom Went Bust

Juliet Eilperin  •  Wired (February)  •  Posted 2012-02-03 12:50:20

In 2005, VC investment in clean tech measured in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The following year, it ballooned to $1.75 billion, according to the National Venture Capital Association. By 2008, the year after Doerr’s speech, it had leaped to $4.1 billion. And the federal government followed. Through a mix of loans, subsidies, and tax breaks, it directed roughly $44.5 billion into the sector between late 2009 and late 2011. Avarice, altruism, and policy had aligned to fuel a spectacular boom. Anyone who has heard the name Solyndra knows how this all panned out. Due to a confluence of factors—including fluctuating silicon prices, newly cheap natural gas, the 2008 financial crisis, China’s ascendant solar industry, and certain technological realities—the clean-tech bubble has burst, leaving us with a traditional energy infrastructure still overwhelmingly reliant on fossil fuels. The fallout has hit almost every niche in the clean-tech sector—wind, biofuels, electric cars, and fuel cells—but none more dramatically than solar.
[ read more … ]

Administration Fast-Tracks Offshore Wind Farms

RYAN TRACY  •  Wall Street Journal  •  Posted 2012-02-03 12:50:46

The Obama administration said it planned to make areas off the coasts of Maryland and New Jersey available to wind-energy developers by year’s end, paving the way for the first leases under a program designed to fast-track offshore wind farms.

While President Barack Obama has said he favors an “all of the above” approach to energy development, Thursday’s announcement highlighted the stronger emphasis he places on wind and solar power compared with Republicans. A House committee on Wednesday approved three bills promoting oil-and-gas exploration, an issue also stressed by the GOP’s presidential candidates. [ read more … ]

Branstad urges renewed PTC for wind

Dan Piller  •  Des Moines Register  •  Posted 2012-02-03 12:51:08

The Midwestern governors said “our states have experienced the economic benefits of wind first hand,” said the letter, addressed to the Senate-House conference committee. The PTC has been attached to the newest version of the Payroll Tax cut, to be debated later this month. Wind interests say that wind equipment providers and operators need to have the new law in place at least by the end of the first half of this year in order to secure financing for projects beyond this year. [ read more … ]

Conservative group slams GOP push for wind credit in tax cut bill

Elana Schor  •  E&E  •  Posted 2012-02-03 13:12:41

A show of support from two Midwestern GOP governors for a wind-industry tax credit yesterday drew fire from Washington conservatives, underscoring the hard road for renewables advocates pushing to extend the break.
Advocates of extending the production tax credit (PTC) for wind, set to expire at year’s end if Congress does not act, hailed a letter released yesterday by Republican Govs. Sam Brownback of Kansas and Terry Branstad of Iowa that warned of job losses and squandered power-generation potential if the benefit were not re-upped. [ read more … ]

Federal Government Opens More Ocean to Wind Projects

DIANE CARDWELL  •  New York Times  •  Posted 2012-02-03 12:52:08

Enthusiasm for offshore wind projects may have cooled among developers in the United States these days, but the Obama administration is still trying to make a ribbon of wind farms off the Atlantic Coast a reality. On Thursday, Ken Salazar, the secretary of the interior, and Tommy P. Beaudreau, the director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, said the government had completed an environmental review and found that selling leases for wind energy would not create environmental problems in the designated “wind energy areas” off the coasts of Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware. [ read more … ]

Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.