Cai Steger, Energy Policy Analyst, New York, Center for Market Innovation
An important wind power study (also helpful presentation version) was released today by two prominent energy experts from Lawrence Berkeley National Labs - Ryan Wiser and Mark Bolinger. Each have each been studying the renewable energy sector for decades, and their annual market report is one of the most reputable and non-partisan “State of the Wind Industry” efforts available.
It covers a wide range of topics, but mirrors much of what the rest of the industry has been saying – growth is strong, costs are coming down, technologies are improving, and all of this is at risk due to uncertainty of policies, especially the extension of the wind production tax credit.
Among the highlights:
- Continued growth in wind power: annual installations rose 31%, as the U.S. added 6,800 megawatts of wind power in 2011, equivalent to the power generated by about five large coal power plants. All told, the U.S. now has nearly 50,000 megawatts of wind capacity – double the capacity from just three years ago in 2008.
- Wind competing aggressively with fossil fuel power: over the last 7 years, wind power has been the largest or ...
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