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Government Power Hardware

US Firms Race Fiscal Cliff To Install Wind Turbines 98

Hugh Pickens writes "BBC reports that U.S. energy companies are racing to install wind turbines before a federal tax credit expires at the end of this year which could be lost as Congress struggles with new legislation to avoid the 'fiscal cliff.' 'There's a lot of rushing right now to get projects completed by the end of the year,' says Rob Gramlich, senior vice president at the American Wind Energy Association. 'There's a good chance we could get this extension, it is very hard to predict, but the industry is not making bets on the Congress getting it done,' Even if there is an extension there is likely to be a significant curtailment of wind installations in 2013. From 1999 to 2004, Congress allowed the wind energy production tax credit to expire three times, each time retroactively extending it several months after the expiration deadline had passed, but wind energy companies say they need longer time frames to negotiate deals to sell the power they generate. 'Even if the tax credit is extended, our new construction plans likely will be ramped back substantially in 2013 compared with the last few years,' says Paul Copleman. 'So much time has passed without certainty that a normal one-year extension would not be a game-changer for our 2013 build plans.'"
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US Firms Race Fiscal Cliff To Install Wind Turbines

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  • Re:Rent seeking (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 31, 2012 @01:26PM (#42433819)

    seems like you don't really understand the purpose of subsidies. they are to encourage a fledgling industry and keep it up until it can stand on its own. there is considerable first-mover advantage in the energy business and even the hoops for connecting to the grid for a energy provider are high walls to new technology.

    fit contract rates are different for wind and solar, and have been decreasing over time as a result of the evaluation of the cost changes over time. microFit was 0.80 per kw*hr for solar less than 10 kw, wind was 11 cents a kw*hr. these numbers are even less now, with solar at 40-60 cents, depending on the installation location (roof or ground mounted).

    the majority of contracts were for wind, because there are locations in ontario that have significant wind resources (along the great lakes and in some northern communities).

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Monday December 31, 2012 @01:34PM (#42433895) Homepage

    If the "torch-bearing mob" you're referring to was Occupy Wall Street, they didn't have any torches or pitchforks, they had signs and chants and meetings which clearly presented no physical threat to the banks. The New York police responded to them by:
    - pepper-spraying them for the heinous crime of walking down a sidewalk
    - beating them with batons
    - In one case, running a guy over with a motorcycle, arresting him for being in the way, and then denying medical treatment of his broken leg
    - Pushing them into the street and then arresting them for jaywalking
    - In policing a planned march over the Brooklyn bridge, waited until as many as possible were on the bridge, then blocked both exits and arresting everyone in between
    - Put an end to the protest by barging in at 3 AM to a public park, beating and kicking the sleeping people who didn't move fast enough, and destroying all the personal property that they could get their hands on
    - In the aftermath, some of the people known to have been protesting were fired from their jobs

    So that's why people avoid protest movements in the US: If it has a chance of changing something, it will be violently suppressed. In one of the related protests in other cities, the police repeatedly pepper-sprayed an 82-year-old woman who hadn't gotten out of the way fast enough, and ended up killing an Iraq War veteran (probably accidentally, but still).

  • Re:Rent seeking (Score:5, Informative)

    by amorsen ( 7485 ) <> on Monday December 31, 2012 @01:37PM (#42433917)

    Citation needed for $0.80/kWh for wind. Even ridiculously overpriced wind farms elsewhere are at $0.20/kWh. Anholt Sea Wind Farm, widely criticized for having its proposal structured in such a way that there could only be a single bidder and therefore monopoly pricing, is at 1.05DKK/kWh or 0.19USD/kWh for the first 20TWh. 20TWh should be reached in approximately 13 years.

    $0.03/kWh is only possible for nuclear reactors which have paid off their capital investment already and are only paying for maintenance. Wind power under the same conditions can produce at lower cost than that.

  • by Smidge204 ( 605297 ) on Monday December 31, 2012 @02:10PM (#42434231) Journal []

    The report (link to report proper is in the page linked above) was put together by "The Global Warming Policy Foundation" - a known organization of AGW denialists. It speaks volumes that the only sites that reference the report as an authoritative source are other AGW-denying blogs and websites. Combined with the fact that the report you cite flies contrary to dozens of other reports and technical analyses, you should be really quite suspicious about an ulterior agenda.

  • Re:Rent seeking (Score:5, Informative)

    by haruchai ( 17472 ) on Monday December 31, 2012 @02:47PM (#42434583)

    It has nothing to do with nuclear.
    Ontario's nuke capacity is about 11GW max but the lowest demand for any hour going back over 10 years is 13GW so the balance is made up by hydro, gas, wind and coal.
    The coal usage has been cut back significantly in the last 5-7 yrs and the max wind output has only recently exceeded 1GW.

    From what I understand, the issue is the wind farms were given "must-take" status for their power which is stupid during low-demand hours but that's policy and fixable.

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears