NewEnergyNews: Winds of Change: The Wind Industry Is Leaving the US; Vestas, Goldwind, Suzlon, GE, Morgan Stanley and others are moving towards Canada, India and Latin America.

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  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-CLIMATE CHANGE ADVANCES DOOMSDAY CLOCK
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-JAPAN PLAN TO FLOAT SOLAR
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-GERMAN OCEAN WIND BOOMING
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-CHINA READIES GEOTHERMAL EXPANSION
  • THE DAY BEFORE

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, January 22:

  • TTTA Thursday-SENATE VOTES DOWN HUMAN-CAUSED CLIMATE CHANGE
  • TTTA Thursday-KITE WIND TESTING GOES ON
  • TTTA Thursday-THE EV WILL SURVIVE THE GAS PRICE CRASH
  • TTTA Thursday-BIOFUELS NEED MORE TERPENES
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    THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: IS SOUTH CAROLINA SOLAR ABOUT TO EXPLODE?
  • QUICK NEWS, January 21: NEW ENERGY, OIL TO RECONCILE?; SOLAR APPLAUDS OBAMA SOTU SUPPORT; WIND PRAISES OBAMA SOTU, CALLS FOR PTC EXTENSION
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: BIG STORAGE PROCUREMENTS LEAVE MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS
  • QUICK NEWS, January 20: BOOMING SOLAR LOOKS BEYOND 2016; AMAZON BUYS BIG WIND; HOW HOME GEOTHERMAL WORKS
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HOW AMERICA RANKS FIRST IN WIND ENERGY—EVEN WITH LESS CAPACITY THAN CHINA
  • QUICK NEWS, January 19, 2015: WISC FIGHT FOR NET METERING; CALIF COMMUNITY SOLAR LAW STIRS CONTROVERSY; TENN CLEARS LINE TO DELIVER OKLA WIND
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • Weekend Video: Jon Stewart Reviews The Keystone Pipeline Fight
  • Weekend Video: The Movies’ New Cli-Fi Genre
  • Weekend Video: DOE Energy Literacy Series – Energy Comes From Various Sources
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    Some of Anne's contributions:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

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  • Friday, November 16, 2012

    Winds of Change: The Wind Industry Is Leaving the US; Vestas, Goldwind, Suzlon, GE, Morgan Stanley and others are moving towards Canada, India and Latin America.

    Winds of Change: The Wind Industry Is Leaving the US; Vestas, Goldwind, Suzlon, GE, Morgan Stanley and others are moving towards Canada, India and Latin America.

    Herman K. Trabish, July 2, 2012 (Greentech Media)

    There are a number of patterns emerging in the wind industry.

    First, and most obvious, major manufacturers and developers are making plans to leave the U.S. for greener horizons due to Congress' decision not to extend the production tax credit (PTC).

    First Wind, based in Boston, took $211 million plus a $150 million loan from Canadian utility Emera Inc. for 49 percent of Northeast Wind Partners, a partnership which will handle First Wind’s eight-project, three-state, 385-megawatt northeastern business. Looking to Canada, where renewable energy retains big mandates and incentives, First Wind said the new partnership could lead to $3 billion in future investment and 1.2 gigawatts of new wind.

    EDP Renewables North America, the second biggest wind U.S. developer after NextEra Energy, reportedly wants to sell 707 megawatts of operating wind projects and a 1.4-gigawatt development pipeline and Spanish utility Iberdrola Renovables is reportedly re-evaluating its U.S. strategy.

    The town of Gillett, Wisconsin, population 1,256, will lose 45 jobs when Wausaukee Composites, a plastic and fiberglass wind turbine component maker, closes its Gillette factory August 31. Many small businesses in wind’s supply chain across the U.S. will soon be following suit.

    At Windpower 2012 in June, GE Energy announced recent deals in Turkey, Canada and Brazil, and CEO Vic Abate called Europe, Canada, China, Brazil and India “the growth markets of the immediate future.”

    A different pattern is emerging in China.

    In June 2011, new wind industry guidelines mandated that Chinese government support forturbine manufacturers would be restricted to those making 2.5 megawatt or larger machines with up-to-date, transmission-ready technology. The guidelines set off a still-unfolding consolidation in the Chinese wind industry. Some 80 percent of China’s wind makers may eventually fall or be absorbed.

    The consolidation is driving heightened competition.

    Vestas, burdened by stalled investments in the U.S. while Congress fumbles with the PTC and by European financial crisis-imposed credit limitations, will close its 850-kilowatt turbine manufacturing facility in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

    The increasingly hard push toward bigger and more transmission-friendly turbines was likely one of the factors that drove Sinovel, one of China’s wind manufacturing leaders, to pirate software and electronics from American Superconductor (AMSC). It remains to be seen whether AMSC will obtain restitution in China’s legal system.

    Goldwind, China’s second biggest turbine maker, has been as tight-lipped as always about the motives behind its sell-off of 50 percent of its interest in subsidiary Shangdu Tianrun, a development arm. Proceeds appear to have been channeled into a fund that likely will give Goldwind a wider and therefore more hedged investment position. Subsidiary Goldwind USA has been focusing as much attention in Latin America as in North America over the last few months.

    Haizhuang, which owns barely 1.5 percent of China’s domestic market, appears to be reacting to the increased competition by taking its efforts to friendlier markets. It just announced a €400 million expansion into eastern Europe in partnership with with Chongqing Foreign Trade Group (CTF). Its two-megawatt turbine may eventually be able to compete in the Chinese domestic market. Or Haizhuang, currently in the process of developing a five-megawatt machine, may be biding its time in the incentive-driven eastern European market where slightly smaller turbines are still economic.

    The wind industry and its backers are also becoming interested in India’s wind market. Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Labs recently reported that smaller, lower wind regime turbines make India’s undeveloped potential far greater than previously estimated.

    Indian wind powerhouse Suzlon sold Chinese subsidiary Suzlon Energy Tianjin to a domestic developer for $60 million. Though there is no clear word on how it will reassign the assets, this obviously opens up the opportunity for more work in India. And Morgan StanleyInfrastructure Partners just spent $210.1 million for a controlling interest in India wind project developer Continuum Wind Energy.

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