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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

April 11, 2014

U.S. wind industry slammed by tax uncertainty, fracking

Wendy Koch, USA TODAY  •    •  Posted 2014-04-11 07:03:32

Once a booming industry, U.S. wind power saw its growth plummet 92% last year as it wrestled with tax uncertainties and cheap natural gas. The industry is still growing but not nearly as fast, says a report Thursday by the American Wind Energy Association. It added a record 13,131 megawatts of power in 2012 but that fell to only 1,087 MW last year — the lowest level since 2004. One reason was investors’ uncertainty that Congress would renew a federal wind tax subsidy. “People didn’t know it would be passed … so they weren’t creating new projects” early last year, says AWEA’s president Tom Kiernan. He says it takes about nine months to plan a wind farm, so the one-year extension in January 2013 didn’t trigger a flurry of new wind farm construction until the second half of 2013. [ read more … ]

Wind industry shed 30K jobs last year, blames tax credit uncertainty

Nick Juliano, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-04-11 07:03:51

The wind industry didn’t just see the number of new turbines it brought online fall off a cliff last year, it also shed more than a third of its workforce as project developers, manufacturers, utilities and other companies struggled to rebound following the brief expiration of a prized tax incentive, the American Wind Energy Association said today in its annual report. Total employment in the industry fell to 50,500 at the end of last year, down from 80,700 workers at the end of 2012, according to the AWEA report, which calculates the figures based on “full-time equivalent” employees across hundreds of companies in the industry. [ read more … ]

Wind energy a force in Kansas, industry report says

By Scott Rothschild, Lawrence Journal-World  •    •  Posted 2014-04-11 07:04:18

The late extension of the federal Production Tax Credit in 2013 resulted in a 92 percent drop in completed installations nationwide, according to the American Wind Energy Association’s sixth annual market report, which was released during a meeting in Lenexa. That tax credit expired at the end of last year, and its future is iffy. In addition, in Kansas, wind energy has come under attack from powerful groups that want to do away with the Renewable Portfolio Standard, which requires electric utilities to hit certain benchmarks in providing energy through renewable sources. [ read more … ]

EDITORIAL: Don’t lower the standards

The Toldeo Blade  •    •  Posted 2014-04-11 07:04:38

A good state law requires Ohio utilities to generate 25 percent of their electricity sales from renewable and alternative energy sources by 2025. Utilities also must adopt energy-efficiency measures aimed at cutting electricity consumption in the state by 22 percent in the same period. Since the clean-energy law was enacted in 2008, it has helped promote an alternative-energy industry that has created more than 25,000 jobs in Ohio, and has shrunk electric bills for consumers. A measure passed two years ago affirmed and strengthened the earlier law. [ read more … ]

Grandfather’s Utility Threatened by Spreading Renewable

By Will Wade, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2014-04-11 07:05:01

“It’s not going to be your grandfather’s energy industry,” Nancy Pfund, a managing partner at the San Francisco-based venture capital company DBL Investors LLC, said at the conference. “We’re going to see a parallel evolution in energy like we’ve seen in computing, phones and radio. There really hasn’t been an innovation cycle in energy in 100 years.” [ read more … ]

IKEA Continues Trend Of Supplying Its Own Renewable Energy

Peter Kelly-Detwiler, Contributor, Forbes  •    •  Posted 2014-04-11 07:05:24

IKEA announced that it is buying its first wind farm in the United States, a 98 MW wind project in Hoopestown, Illinois (approximately 110 miles south of Chicago). This purchase represents the single largest renewable invest made by IKEA anywhere on the planet, and gets the company closer to its goal of being net zero (producing as much as it consumes) by 2020. The total amount of money allocated to this corporate energy effort is $2 billion. [ read more … ]

Whitehouse challenges corporate allies to move the ball on warming legislation

Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-04-11 07:05:42

One of Congress’ most vocal climate advocates today appealed to like-minded corporations to balance the influence and capital that anti-regulatory companies have spent fanning the flames of climate skepticism. Speaking at a Capitol Hill briefing with pro-climate action companies co-hosted by the umbrella organization Ceres, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) reiterated that he believes legislation to price carbon dioxide emissions is “tantalizingly close” — and perhaps possible as soon as next year. But well-heeled industry groups that have opposed action — he mentioned the fossil fuels industry and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — have created the illusion that corporate America is a behemoth opposed to any climate change regulation, he said.
[ read more … ]

Va. governor reactivates state climate panel

Luanne Rife, Roanoke Times  •    •  Posted 2014-04-11 07:05:59

t the Environment Virginia Symposium on Tuesday, Virginia’s governor said climate change is real and man-made and that the state’s coastal communities are at risk. “If we want to help the environment tomorrow, we have to make smart, common-sense decisions today. The first big decision is to accept climate change is real,” Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) said. “I believe humans contribute to climate change. I think it’s pretty much settled. I think the impacts are felt today. [ read more … ]

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