Most studies predict the cost of wind energy will continue to fall through at least 2030, said national laboratory staffers in a new report . The report, "The Past and Future Cost of Wind Energy," released June 6, is a collaboration among workers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, with assistance from European researchers. The crux of the report is that while future trends, drivers and constraints are difficult to predict, the cost of wind-generated electricity will probably continue to decrease in the coming decades. Onshore wind's levelized cost of energy, or LCOE, fell by a factor of more than three between 1980 and 2000, the researchers said. "However, beginning in about 2003 and continuing through the latter half of the past decade, wind power capital costs increased — driven by rising commodity and raw materials prices, increased labor costs, improved manufacturer profitability, and turbine upscaling — thus pushing wind's LCOE upward in spite of continued performance improvements," they said.
The wind energy market in the U.S. will stay alive with or without an extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC), say executives from eight of the largest wind turbine manufacturers with a U.S. presence. During a June 6 session focused on large wind turbines during WindPower 2012, executives from Gamesa, GE (NYSE: GE), Goldwind, Mitsubishi Power Systems, Nordex, Siemens (NYSE: SI), Suzlon and Vestas expressed that they view the U.S. wind market as a strong one. The U.S., currently the No. 2 wind market in the world, installed 6,810 MW in 2011. This year is expected to be a record-breaking year for installations, as the expiration of the PTC requires developers to complete projects by year end. All eight executives agreed that 2012 will likely see anywhere from 9 to 12 GW of wind power installations. Beyond 2012, the market is likely to slow, but the panelists said that won’t keep their companies from staying in the U.S. The wind energy market could be down 80 percent next year, said Duncan Koerbel, interim CEO of Suzlon. “But Suzlon is in this for the longest of the long hauls. If you’re going to be in wind, you have to be in North America.”
Kicking off the American Wind Energy Association‘s convention center-sized pitch for an extension of the production tax credit, AWEA CEO Denise Bode said Congress needs to act now to prevent further damage to the industry. “We are very concerned new wind projects are being shelved,” Bode said opening AWEA’s annual WINDPOWER conference in Atlanta on Monday. “The bleeding has to stop now.” Bode said she remains optimistic that the production tax credit will be extended before its scheduled expiration at the end of this year, but that the “political logjam” continues to hold up the policy despite bipartisan support. For more news and PR from this years show visit the AltEnergyMag.com AWEA WindPower Newspage.
Konarka Technologies Inc., the thin-film solar panel manufacturer backed by Chevron Corp. (CVX) (CVX) , Draper Fisher Jurvetson and New Enterprise Associates Inc., filed for bankruptcy in Massachusetts. “Konarka has been unable to obtain additional financing, and given its current financial condition, it is unable to continue operations,” Howard Berke, chief executive officer of the Lowell, Massachusetts-based company, said yesterday in a statement. Konarka listed $100,000 to $500,000 in assets and $10 million to $50 million in debt in its Chapter 7 filing yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Worcester, Massachusetts. Konarka NB Holdings LLC, in a separate filing, listed $1 million to $10 million in assets and as much as $50,000 in debt.
We still need a lot more research into different biofuels to see which source will be low cost and environmentally safe. Using a weed, pond scum, municipal waste and manure are future possibilities of biofuels that help, rather than damage our food sources and the environment.
Undermining the Pentagon's alternative energy plans can only be political, and specifically a Republican attempt to undermine the largely energy-focused campaign of President Barack Obama. After the elections, it should regain lost traction the next time it comes around for a vote.
Regulation continues to be a key influencer and driver of the overall solar marketplace. Despite the advantages of solar as a virtually free energy, the market relies on regulation in order to deliver desired returns on investment.
The military services want the private sector to design, build, own and operate the alternative energy generation capacity and sell the energy to the military services.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has introduced new state guidelines which allow for biodiesel to be blended at any ratio into any compliant fuel.
In the realm of clean energy and the US drive to reduce dependency on foreign fuel imports, Google and other IT giants could wield a significant amount of influence, both on the public and on policy.
It is entirely technically reasonable to amortize the financing of a well engineered solar array over 30-40 years, not just 20.
The program addresses the need for experienced, successful cleantech executives to maximize the many technological and business opportunities available in clean technology.
Much of the industry press coverage lately has focused on multi-100MW projects. Yet these large, centralized production facilities are not really the best use of solar energy. They certainly have their usefulness, but distributed generation offers an even better approach.
Cox started focusing on alternative energy projects in 2007 when Cox Conserves, our national sustainability program, was created. Cox Chairman Jim Kennedy is passionate about the environment and wanted to make sure our company is being a good steward of the environment.
Sharp has developed solar cells that match the concentrator solar cell efficiency world record set by Solar Junction last year. The technology’s staggering 43.5% efficiency from a triple-junction compound solar cell is 1.2% higher than the efficiency of the cells holding the record before March of 2011 (when Solar Junction busted that record). The conversion efficiency was actually confirmed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy in April 2012 (for some reason, these companies and researchers don’t let us know about the new records for months sometimes). “Compound solar cells utilize photo-absorption layers made from compounds consisting of two or more elements, such as indium and gallium,” Sharp writes. “The basic structure of this latest triple-junction compound solar cell uses Sharp’s proprietary technology that enables efficient stacking of the three photo-absorption layers, with InGaAs (indium gallium arsenide) as the bottom layer.”
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