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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

August 11, 2015

The U.S. wind energy boom couldn’t be coming at a better time

By Chris Mooney, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2015-08-11 06:53:45

The Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, released last week, requires the country to use a lot more renewable energy by the year 2030 — and a lot less coal. And right on time, two new reports published Monday by the Department of Energy find that one key renewable sector — wind — is booming, a development that can only help matters when it comes to reducing carbon emissions. The reports being released — including the 2014 Wind Technologies Market Report, published by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory — suggest that wind is being installed at a rapid rate, that its costs are plummeting, that its technologies are advancing, and that it is creating a growing number of jobs to boot. [ read more … ]

Study Finds that the Price of Wind Energy in the United States is at an All-time Low, Averaging under 2.5¢/kWh

By Jon Weiner, Berkley Laboratory  •    •  Posted 2015-08-11 06:54:02

Wind energy pricing is at an all-time low, according to a new report released by the U.S. Department of Energy and prepared by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). The prices offered by wind projects to utility purchasers averaged under 2.5¢/kWh for projects negotiating contracts in 2014, spurring demand for wind energy. “Wind energy prices—particularly in the central United States—have hit new lows, with utilities selecting wind as the low cost option,” Berkeley Lab Senior Scientist Ryan Wiser said. “Moreover, enabled by technology advancements, wind projects are economically viable in a growing number of locations throughout the U.S.”
[ read more … ]

Tax-credit uncertainty casts pall over industry boom — DOE

Katherine Ling, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2015-08-11 06:54:37

Higher towers and larger turbines propelled the United States to “all-time low” wind power prices and world-leading wind production numbers last year, but that won’t be enough to overcome the loss of federal tax incentives, the Department of Energy said today in its annual wind market report. The report says total installed U.S. wind capacity is at about 66 gigawatts after an 8 percent growth spurt in 2014. An $8.3 billion investment in U.S. wind projects and 4,854 megawatts of new capacity was a big improvement after a “lackluster” 2013, the report says. [ read more … ]

Wind power hits lowest price on record

By Timothy Cama , The HIll  •    •  Posted 2015-08-11 06:55:05

The cost of electricity from wind power fell to its lowest point on record last year as the industry continued its growth pattern, according to the Department of Energy (DOE). A Monday report from DOE said wind power that utilities bought last year in purchase power agreements, the main measurement for comparing costs, was 2.35 cents per kilowatt hour, the drop of two-thirds from its 2009 peak. Wind saw the most growth of any power source last year and, with 66 gigawatts installed, now accounts for 4.9 percent of of the country’s electricity demand, DOE found. [ read more … ]

Gov. Brown highlights climate change risks at site of Rocky fire

By Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times  •    •  Posted 2015-08-11 06:55:24

In his quest to force tougher action on climate change, Gov. Jerry Brown has traveled to China, Mexico, Canada, even the Vatican. But he was much closer to home on Thursday, just a couple dozen miles from the ranch his family has owned for generations. Standing in front of scorched hills, the smell of smoke lingering in the air, Brown said the wildfire that had ripped through the area was evidence that global warming already has created dangerous conditions in California. “This is a real wake-up call,” the governor said. “It’s a new normal.” [ read more … ]

New Zealand marks end to coal power

By Daniel J. Graeber, UPI  •    •  Posted 2015-08-11 06:55:59

Coal-fired power is coming to an end in New Zealand as the country focuses on taking the global pole position in renewables, the energy minister said. “Historically coal has played an important role in ensuring the security of New Zealand’s electricity supply, particularly in dry years where our hydro-lake levels are low,” New Zealand Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges said in a statement. “But significant market investment in other forms of renewable energy in recent years, particularly in geothermal, means that a coal backstop is becoming less of a requirement.” [ read more … ]

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