US taxpayer funded wind tax credit was recently extended. 6/30/15, Denver Bus. Jrnl.
8/4/15, "European industry hopes to profit from Obama's new climate plan," EUObserver.com, Lisbeth Kirk, Brussels
|Europe hopes for US taxpayer cash|
"We have a moral obligation to leave our children a planet that’s not polluted or damaged", said Obama on Monday (3 August).
The Clean Power Plan establishes for the first time national standards for limiting carbon pollution from American power plants and aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.
It also says that renewables should account for 28 percent of US energy consumption by 2030.
The plan is seen as an attempt by Obama to secure his legacy and fulfill election promises during his final months in office.
It is also likely to boost the currently stalled international climate talks when negotiators gather for talks in Paris in December.
"The CleanPowerPlan gives further momentum to #COP21, shows US commitment to underpin its international climate pledge with domestic action", EU energy commissioner Miguel Arias Canete tweeted.
He called the plan "a positive step forward" which "can boost clean energy and speed up the low-carbon transformation". Meanwhile shares in wind energy companies – such as Vestas Wind Systems
– rose on the announcement.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon referred to Obama’s “visionary leadership” while German environment minister Barbara Hendricks said the plan was an "important signal" for the Paris talks.
Danish energy minister Lars Christian Lilleholt said the plan might "open new export opportunities for Danish companies".
But the US’ shift to a greener future is not expected to be without a political fight which may impact next years' presidential election.
Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton backed the plan, saying that if elected she will defend it against "Republican doubters and defeatists."
But the Republicans are largely opposing it and have called it “a war on coal” and vowed to mount legal challenges against it.
Currently more than one third of the US’ electricity supply comes from coal-fired plants and opponents of the Obama plan claim their closure will result in a hike in consumers’ electricity bills.
Obama, for his part, says the plan will save the average American nearly $85 on their annual energy bill in 2030.
Each state is to be responsible for cutting its emissions and should draw up a plan by 2018 on how to do it.
Some state governors have already rebelled and are likely to join a legal action against the plan, meaning it could end up in the Supreme Court.
States such as West Virginia and Wyoming, with economies reliant on coal mining or cheap electricity from coal-fired power plants, are leading the action.
“We think this regulation is terrible for the consumers of the state of West Virginia.
It’s going to lead to reduced jobs, higher electricity rates, and really will put stress on the reliability of the power grid. The worst part of this proposal is that it’s flatly illegal under the Clean Air Act and the Constitution, and we intend to challenge it vigorously,” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said.
Renewable sources currently account for only 5 percent of US electricity compared with 37 percent from coal, 31 percent from natural gas and 19 percent from nuclear power."
Image caption: "The plan is seen as an attempt by Obama to secure his legacy and fulfill election promises during his final months in office. (Photo: whitehouse.gov)"
Danish manufacturer Vestas ramped up in anticipation of more US taxpayer dollars:
6/30/15, "Vestas racking up big orders for new U.S. wind farms," Denver Business Journal, Cathy Proctor
"Vestas Wind Systems is racking up more orders from customers eager to put the Danish manufacturer’s wind turbines to work across the United States.
In the last week, Vestas has announced orders for more than 250 of its wind turbines for U.S. wind farms. And Vestas’ factories in Colorado will be building components for those wind farms, according to a company spokesman.
Vestas employs nearly 3,000 people in the state and has four factories: a towers factory in Pueblo, a nacelles factory and a blade factory in Brighton and another blade plant in Windsor.
The wind industry has been revving lately in the United States, following an extension of the federal wind Production Tax Credit, worth $23 for every megawatt-hour of power produced for 10 years. New wind farms where at least 5 percent of the budget was spent in 2014 will qualify for the credit.
Vestas on Tuesday announced it had locked in an order from SunEdison for 83 of its V117-3.3 megawatt wind turbines, capable of delivering 274 megawatts of power. The turbines are destined for a Texas wind farm and expected to be commissioned in the first half of 2016, according to Vestas.
Vestas said the Texas wind farm order is the company’s seventh project with SunEdison.
Including turbines previously purchased from Vestas, the SunEdison wind farm in Texas will be capable of producing 300 megawatts of power, Vestas said.
It’s the first time that Vestas’ new 3-megawatt turbines will be deployed in Texas, Vestas said.
“Our 3 MW turbine platform is proving its versatility across a variety of North American wind regimes, and we are starting to see much broader deployment across the wind belt,” said Chris Brown, Vestas Portland-based president of the U.S. and Canadian sales and service division.
“This project will be its first deployment in the important Texas market, where the combination of a robust design, outstanding grid support and a large rotor make this turbine the best choice to minimize the cost of energy throughout the life of the project,” Brown said.
“We’re very happy to add this latest agreement to our growing strategic relationship with SunEdison," he added.
But SunEdison didn’t stop with the Texas wind turbine order. SunEdison also on Tuesday finalized an order for 47 of Vestas’ V112-3.3 megawatt turbines, capable of pumping out 155 megawatts of electricity, for its Bingham wind farm in Maine, according to a second announcement from Vestas on Tuesday.
The turbines destined for the Maine wind farm also are expected to be commissioned in the first half of 2016, Vestas said Tuesday.
Vestas also on Tuesday announced an order for 54 of its V110-2.0 megawatt turbines for an undisclosed customer at an undisclosed site in the U.S.
Last week, on June 25, Vestas announced it also had received an order from EDF Renewable Energy for 75 of its V100-2.0 megawatt turbines, which are destined for the Salt Fork wind farm in Texas. The wind turbines collectively are capable of producing up to 150 megawatts of power. Commissioning is expected in the first half of 2016.The order for the Salt Ford wind farm is the first one EDF placed with Vestas related to master-supply contract the two companies signed in December 2014 for up to 1,000 megawatts worth of wind turbines."...