NewEnergyNews: ORIGINAL REPORTING: HOW AMERICA RANKS FIRST IN WIND ENERGY—EVEN WITH LESS CAPACITY THAN CHINA

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YESTERDAY

  • Weekend Video: Trump Truth And Climate Change
  • Weekend Video: The Daily Show Talks Pipeline Politics
  • Weekend Video: Beyond Polar Bears – The Real Science Of Climate Change
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Aussie Farmers Worrying About Climate Change
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-The Climate Change Solution At Hand, Part 1
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-The Climate Change Solution At Hand, Part 2
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-New Energy And Historic Buildings In Europe
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, December 1:

  • TTTA Thursday-First Daughter Ivanka May Fight For Climate
  • TTTA Thursday-Low Profile High Power Ocean Wind Energy
  • TTTA Thursday-A Visionary Solar Power Plant
  • TTTA Thursday-EVs Have A Growth Path
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: How The Clean Power Plan Drove The Utility Power Mix Transition
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: How Utilities Are Answering The Distributed Energy Resources Challenge
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Looking At New Rates To Unlock The Utility Of The Future
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • TODAY’S STUDY: The Power Potential Of Personal Wind
  • QUICK NEWS, November 29: Climate Change Forces Hard Choices In Alaska; New Energy To Utilities-“Can’t-Beat-Us-So-Join-Us”; Fact-Checking Trump Hot Air On Wind
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: Getting More New Energy On The Grid
  • QUICK NEWS, November 28, 2016: Pope Talks Climate Change At Trump; Solar Comes To The Mall; The Big Possibilities Of Backyard Wind
  • --------------------------

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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, f is an occasional contributor to NewEnergyNews

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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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    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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  • ---------------
  • TODAY AT NewEnergyNews, December 5:

  • TODAY’S STUDY: A Way For New Energy To Meet Peak Demand
  • QUICK NEWS, December 5: Trial Of The Century Coming On Climate; The Wind-Solar Synergy; The Still Rising Sales Of Cars With Plugs

    Monday, January 19, 2015

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: HOW AMERICA RANKS FIRST IN WIND ENERGY—EVEN WITH LESS CAPACITY THAN CHINA

    How America ranks first in wind energy—even with less capacity than China; U.S. wind’s smaller fleet generates over 20% more electricity than Chinese wind

    Herman K. Trabish, November 13, 2014 (Utility Dive)

    Advanced technology, skilled developers, built-out infrastructure, and the effectiveness of federal policy have brought the U.S. wind industry back to world leadership.

    China’s installed wind capacity passed that of the U.S. in late 2010 and is now 50% bigger. But a Chinese wind turbine on the barren, wind-savaged plains of Inner Mongolia without grid connection asks the same question as a tree falling unheard in a forest: What does it produce? The smaller fleet of U.S. turbines are producing over 20% more electricity than China's.

    “In the U.S., every step in development is driven by one thing: long term electricity production delivered to the customer,” explained EDF Renewable Energy Board Vice-Chair Dr. James Walker, author of a new statistical profile of world wind.

    No production, no payment

    Walker pointed to two “no production, no payment” key drivers:

    Long term power purchase agreements (PPAs) with utilities and, increasingly, with private companies like Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo, that pay only for kilowatt-hours delivered.

    The performance-based federal production tax credit (PTC) that pays project owners $0.023 per kilowatt-hour for the first 10 years of their installations’ output.

    “What gets rewarded gets done,” Walker said. “China’s incentives reward construction and installation, not production.” In the U.S., he said, “competition improves the breed. Over 30 companies have an investment of between $900 million and $1 billion." Because of the structure of production-based utility-originated PPAs and the politically embattled PTC, he emphasized, "they are highly motivated to make their assets productive, day in and day out.”

    Transmission and technology

    Both China and the U.S. have rich wind resources remote from population centers.

    China’s developers initially went to its remote regions to build. Some parts of Inner Mongolia, Hebei, and Gansu provinces have so much wind the

    Chinese call them “wind camps.” But a lack of transmission to energy-hungry cities like Beijing and Shanghai has led to 20% curtailment rates, making the projects financial losers.

    When developers moved to provinces with lower wind speeds where transmission is available, they needed newer turbine technologies not yet perfected by Chinese manufacturers at scale.

    Meanwhile, all across the Midwestern plains from Texas to the Dakotas, U.S. and Western European companies like GE and Siemens are building taller turbines with longer blades and smarter, more efficient electronics. The new technology can turn winds previously considered too weak to generate useful amounts of power into economic harvests.

    U.S. wind delivers

    The U.S. wind industry delivered nearly 168 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2013. China delivered 136 billion kilowatt-hours and third-place Germany delivered 53 billion kilowatt-hours, reported American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Data and Analysis Manager Emily Williams, citing Walker’s data taken from publicly available International Energy Agency, Global Wind Energy Council, DOE Energy Information Agency and AWEA reports.

    Another 13,600 megawatts of new U.S. capacity are under construction and expected to go online by the end of 2015, Williams added. “Those under-construction turbines have really high potential capacity factors, from the high 40% range to above 50%.”

    “The Chinese will say frankly they have the quantity right but still need to get the quality right,” Walker said. With an overall average capacity factor of more than 30%, compared to Chinese and German average capacity factors of 15% to 16%, the U.S. wind fleet essentially gets twice the mileage of its closest competitors, Walker said.

    Both China and the U.S. are in the process of building new high capacity transmission dedicated to renewables. Because of the fewer regulatory impediments, China's new transmission will likely be in service sooner. In addition, higher-efficiency turbines using U.S. and European technology innovations will inevitably be coming out of Chinese factories at scale. These things could shift the numbers balance in the foreseeable future.

    “The U.S. wind industry’s strength,” Walker said, is that “at every step of the way, from resource assessments and turbine manufacturing to the financing, building, and interconnecting of projects, performance-based contracts and incentives are winning the race to the top.”

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