ORIGINAL REPORTING: Powered By PTC, Wind Energy Expected To Keep Booming
Powered by PTC, wind energy expected to keep booming despite Clean Power Plan stay; Demand for cheap wind may be so great that utilities build out enough to meet CPP targets regardless of the stay.
Herman K. Trabish, February 17, 2016 (Utility Dive)
Since this story ran, the forecasted growth has fully materialized.
Wind industry numbers were up impressively in 2015, according to the Fourth Quarter 2015 Market Report from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Last year saw 8,598 MW in installed capacity, making last year the industry’s third best year ever. The fourth quarter’s 5,001 MWs represented wind’s second biggest quarterly performance. The industry now has a cumulative installed capacity of nearly 74.5 GW, and has reduced wind’s installed cost 66% since 2008, AWEA reported.
U.S. wind builders also closed the year with a strong pipeline. There were over 9,400 MW in construction across 72 projects, including over 1,800-plus MW of construction started in Q4. There were also 4,900 MW in advanced stages of development, including 1,500-plus MW of advanced development added in the last quarter. In December, Congress approved multi-year extensions and phase-downs of both the $0.023/kWh PTC, which had expired at the end of 2014, and solar’s 30% investment tax credit (ITC). Both incentive programs will now run through 2021, boosted by new "commence construction" provisions that allow projects to qualify for tax credits the year that they get at least 5% construction underway. The recently-published Renewable Tax Extenders: The Bridge to the Clean Power Plan from Rhodium foresees the extensions and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) positioning the wind industry positioned for growth well into the next decade…” click here for more