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SWE 2014 08

By the end of 2014, some 72 GW of wind energy capacity will be installed in the US. The Cedar Creek 1 wind farm in Colorado adds 551 MW. Photo: BP is a chance that the PTC will be extended once again for another two years. This, at least, is the proposition that the Senate Finance Committee has passed and that now needs to go through the political voting marathon. According to the GTAI, the federal government in Washington is making some effort to harmonize support for renewable energy. Whether this can be implemented – considering the Republican majority in the ® House of Representatives – remains to be seen. However, small wind turbines will certainly continue to be supported. Until the end of 2016, home owners will still be able to apply for a tax credit of 30 % of the installation cost. In 29 of the 50 US states, demand is largely a result of the Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), which stipulate a certain share of renewable energy that is required in energy utilities’ generation portfolios. Industry experts estimate the effect of the RPS in the entire United States to amount to 4 GW per year.In addition, some individual states and local governments have feed-in tariffs along the lines of the German model. It’s the heavyweights’ turn “The market structure has changed quite a lot over the last few years,” Annette Nüsslein observes. Providing consulting services with her agency WindConsultant has given her in-depth knowledge of the American wind market. “The big investors are coming now, the who’s who of global companies – like Google.” The IT Group has signed seven power purchase agreements (PPAs) since 2011, the largest of which comprises 407 MW of wind power in Iowa. MidAmerican Energy, the regional energy utility in that area, uses this electricity to supply Google’s data centre. Is this all for the environment? An article in news magazine Forbes wonders about the new heavyweights in the industry: “Not surprisingly, the purchase of large contracts and certificates by big tech companies to green their images is driving a new wave of interest in renewable energy. But will utilities need to significantly expand their capacity to meet this demand?” That is exactly what they should do, according to not only the Obama administration and the wind power lobby. According to a survey, a majority of Americans are ready to spare US$ ten dollars a month – no matter how – to support wind energy. This involves no risk of insolvency, though it is quite remarkable nonetheless in a country wherein a considerable portion of the population still believes that both evolution and climate change are considered ◦ Wind Yield Assessments (Bankable) ◦ Wind Measurements (LiDAR & Met Mast) ◦ Expert Reports (Noise, Shadow, Turbulence, Ice Fall etc.) ◦ Planning and Engineering Services ◦ Contracting and Procurement A1.513 ◦ Construction Supervision Booth ◦ Due Diligence www.bbb-umwelt.com International Engineering Consultancy Wind Edition 17


SWE 2014 08
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