Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Economic uncertainty puts the brakes on Northwest wind power industry

I have a very negative opinion of wind energy, but my opinion on green protectionism is lower again.  The cited article from the state of Washington notes California now withing to burden it's residents with higher cost power due to using it's inferior wind resources (not well matched to reservoir hydro) by preventing the import of electricity from higher wind resource regions.
The situation is also bad in Illinois, where the Invenergy fortune is being politically protected at the expense of ratepayers due to attempts to prevent the import of electricity from higher wind resource, lower cost areas.
These are wind-on-wind wars.  
The most damaging protectionist measures, in terms of carbon emissions, are probably those designed to keep Quebec's hydro from qualifying as green in several states (accomplished by claiming hydro projects over 100MW capacity are not green).

Economic uncertainty puts the brakes on Northwest wind power industry | Yakima Herald-Republic:
After a decade of whirlwind growth, Central Washington’s wind industry has put all new construction on hold after being confronted by a mix of national and regional issues.
At least seven permitted projects are up in the air in Kittitas and Klickitat counties.
It’s a matter of economic uncertainty.
Nationally, wind energy producers face competition from falling natural gas prices. Plus, it’s unclear whether a much-relied-upon federal tax credit for wind energy producers will be renewed after it expires Dec. 31.
Regionally, transmission lines are at capacity in some places. Markets are getting tougher. New wind farms will encounter problems selling to California utilities, which under new rules must now buy more power produced in that state. Also, wind farm operators complain that property taxes have risen steeply under a new state formula.
Continue Reading in the Yakima Herald-Republic:

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