WIND CAN (BEAT THE ECONOMY)
The wind power industry continues to affirm the fact about New Energy the Old Energy world is just beginning to come to terms with: Wind Power is not small and green, it is big and clean and it is cost effective and mainstream.
Randall Swisher, Executive Director, American Wind Energy Association (AWEA): "We're past the point of wind being a marginal player..."
3rd quarter 2008 numbers show the industry on track to set growth records for the 4th year in a row.
The big question: What will 2009 bring?
There are 2 reasons the industry expects growth to slow next year: (1) The credit crisis compromises capital, making it more expensive and harder to get, and (2) The industry’s production tax credit (PTC), allowing a 2.1 cent benefit for every kilowatt-hour produced, was extended very late in 2008 and only for 1 year.
But the political climate will be completely different in 2009, too.
Swisher, AWEA: "In 2009, energy will be front and center with the new Congress and the new administration…Both McCain and Obama have made that clear."
What U.S. wind needs:
(1) Long-term, stable policies: A 5-year PTC and a national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) requiring all utilities to obtain a portion of their power from New Energy sources by a date certain.
(2) A national transmission superhighway to deliver New Energy electricity from the remote areas where it is captured and generated to the population centers where it is consumed. This will require the cooperation of government, utilities and financiers. It will cost $60 billion and it will make those who invest in it big money in the long run.
How badly will the financial crisis cut into wind’s development?
Nobody knows. There are compensations in the downturn. Transportation costs are coming down and steel prices have dropped. (A wind turbine is, by weight, 89% steel).
The industry is still building capacity: 8 U.S. component manufacturing facilities opened in 2008, 9 expanded and 19 were announced.
Swisher, AWEA: "Wind will be one of the leading sources of new manufacturing jobs in the 21st century…And there are a bunch of governors that are starting to figure that out and are driving their own state economic development strategies to take advantage of that."
Nowhere is wind’s growth more apparent than in South Dakota, where a still reluctant conservative population is about to benefit from the biggest wind installation in the world.
Story of a company being born: Clipper Windpower makes a high quality 2.5-megawatt turbine. The company has not yet reaped the financial rewards of its excellent product. It is still just barely making its way toward solvency. But that is all about to change. Clipper has closed a deal to supply 2,020 turbines to BP Wind Energy for the Titan Wind Project, a 5,050-megawatt installation being built in Miller, South Dakota. (See SOUTH DAKOTA GETS IN THE WIND GAME…)
No wonder NewEnergyNews’ has given the wind power industry the motto YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHIN’ YET!
Point of interest: Clipper Windpower Plc is traded on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange. Shares are not available to U.S. residents or their representatives.
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Wind Energy Industry Installs 1,400 MW In 3rd Quarter Of What Will Be Another Record Year; Evolution of Financial Crisis, Policies of New Administration Will Shape Wind Power Outlook for 2009
Christine Real de Azua and Julie Clendenin, October 22, 2008 (American Wind Energy Association)
US wind energy adds 1,400 MW of capacity
October 22, 2008 (AP via CNN Money)
Clipper Windpower And BP Wind Energy Complete Joint Venture Agreement For Titan Wind Project
October 22, 2008 (Clipper via PRWEB)
The U.S. wind energy industry; American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) (Randall Swisher, Executive Director); Acciona Energy; Vestas; TPI Composites; Clipper Windpower Plc (Clipper); BP Wind Energy (BP); U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
- The AWEA 3rd Quarter 2008 Market Report shows the wind industry installed 1,389 megawatts (MW) in the most recent quarter of what is expected to be another record year.
- Example: Clipper will provide 2,020 Liberty 2.5 turbines as part of a joint venture (JV) with BP to establish the Titan Wind Project, the biggest wind power installation in the world.
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- 2007, installed: 5,249 MW
- 2008, installed to date: 4,204 MW
- 2008, projected to be intstalled: ~7,500 MW
- 2010: Vestas will open factories now under construction for blades and nacelles in Colorado.
- The next few years: The Titan Project will be constructed in several phases.
- 2007: Clipper’s turbine won DOE’s Outstanding Research and Development Partnership Award for its "unparalleled levels of efficiency and reliability and reduced cost…"
- 20 years: Expected lifetime of the Liberty 2.5.
- Texas added 693 megawatts, the biggest capacity addition by any state in 3Q 2008.
- West Virginia had the fastest growth, tripling existing capacity.
- Utah built its first multi-turbine project. (Spanish Fork, 9 turbines)
- Turbine manufacturer Acciona Energy brought its first U.S. turbines online at a project along the North Dakota/South Dakota border.
- The Titan Wind Project is near Miller, South Dakota.
- Clipper has offices in the UK, Denmark, and Mexico as well as California, Colorado, Iowa, and Maryland. It has a manufacturing and assembly facility in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
- NREL is in Golden, Colorado.
- 7,500 megawatts is estimated to power ~2.2 million homes.
- With 8 new turbine component manufacturing facilities, 9 expansions and 19 planned facilities, domestically made parts will go to 50% of those installed, up from 30% in 2005.
- The new facilities will create an estimated 9,000 jobs.
- Vestas’ Colorado blade and nacelle plants will employ 1,350. (nacelle: atop the turbine tower, as big as a school bus, houses the generator)
- TPI Composites’ new blade facility in Newton, Iowa, will employ 500.
- Texas’ transmission expansion, through its Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZs), areas predisgnated for development and new transmission, has facilitated its rapid wind power growth.
- West Virginia’s growth was from a single 164-megawatt project. Another 100-megawatt project is scheduled to begin operation before the end of the year.
- When complete, Titan Wind Project in South Dakota will be the biggest wind power facility in the world.
- The turbine sale was arranged through a Master Turbine Supply Agreement.
- Under the terms of the JV, Clipper will provide operations and maintenance to BP Wind Energy for 5 years.
- The Clipper Liberty 2.5 was tested by DOE’s NREL. Its distinctions: (1) variable speed operation designed to minimize unscheduled maintenance events, (2) highly efficient, patented Quantum Drive® distributed generation power train, (3) proprietary permanent magnet generator technology
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Randall Swisher, Executive Director, AWEA: “The convenient truth here is that wind power provides a stimulus for our economy, as well as a climate change and energy security solution…The market, in spite of all its turmoil, clearly points to wind power as one of the most attractive energy options available today. But if we are to keep this momentum going, the new President and Congress will need to put in place what the majority of the American people support but the country still lacks: a long-term renewable energy policy.”