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Alternative Energy / Wind Power

  • Private Sector Driving U.S. Wind Market Forward

    The onshore wind energy sector is booming in the United States, where there's enough of the renewable resource on hand to meet the annual demands for 15 million homes.  It may take one of the biggest retailers in the world, however, to usher in the necessary change in energy consumption. The American Wind Energy Association said wind energy in the United States accounted for more than 4 percent of all the electricity generated in the country last year and the trend was on pace to continue.  America, the AWEA said, is increasingly powered by wind. Now Swedish home-furnishing company IKEA says it's…

  • Where is the U.S. Wind Energy Sector Headed?

    In mid-December, the U.S. Interior Department announced plans to auction off more than 79,000 maritime acres off the coast of Maryland for wind energy development. Two leases in 2013 generated more than $5 million in bids from investors but the industry faces an uncertain future as the private sector takes the lead in renewable energy development. The Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said the wind energy potential off the Maryland coast may be significant.  More than 79,000 acres will be put on the auction block for wind energy developers next year and the BOEM estimates the area could support…

  • The Eagle Has Landed … On a Wind Turbine

    At least 85 Eagles have died in collisions with wind turbines since 1997, and the specter of the biggest US wind farm yet, planned for the state of Texas, where everything is big, lends new meaning to the phrase, “the eagle has landed.”With Texas now joining the ranks of US wind-farm giants and the federal government mulling an extension of “casualty” permits for birds caught up in the climate-saving turbines, Americans may have to choose an alternative fowl for their national symbol. On Tuesday, Dallas-based Tri Global Energy announced plans to build a 1,100-megawatt, 650-turbine wind farm near Lubbock. It…

  • Wind Energy Spreading Beyond Europe

    Energy-rich Norway said it was moving ahead with plans to install more than 1,000 megawatts of wind farms onshore. Norway, Europe's largest oil producer and the world's second largest natural gas exporter, has far less wind power on its grid than its neighbors. The country gets most of its electricity from hydroelectric power, but said it was now investing more than $3 billion in wind energy development. Its counterparts in the EU help make up one of the largest wind markets in the world. Germany energy company Siemens, however, said that's about to change. Norway is the largest oil producer and…

  • Good News for Wind Turbine Manufacturers

    European wind turbine manufacturing giants like Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS), Germany’s Nordex SE (NDX1) and Gamesa Corp. Technologica SA (GAM) are in for a nice year, with profit recouping predicted after years of losses and shutdowns. For the first time since 2010, these European wind turbine manufacturers are poised to register pretax profits, and investors are already driving shares up in anticipation. According to Bloomberg, shares in Vestas, Nordex and Gamesa have jumped around 220% this year on forecasts.  Things have been bad since 2010, with thousands of layoffs and plenty of plant closures, combined with subsidy cuts…

  • US Wind Sector Booms, Driving Prices Down

    Aside from the threat of losing a major federal tax incentive, 2012 was a great year for the U.S. wind industry.Wind energy installations soared to 13.1 gigawatts (a 90 percent increase over 2011) and average long-term wind power prices fell to their lowest point since 2005, according to a new report by the Department of Energy (DOE).The record amount of installed capacity not only made wind power the leading source of new U.S. electric-generating capacity in 2012, it also allowed the U.S. to narrowly overtake China as the global leader in capacity additions for the year (regaining the title it…

  • Airborne Wind Turbines Continue to Advance

    News that Google recently bought flying wind turbine manufacturer Makani, whose planes fly between 800 and 1,950 feet, has surged a bit more energy into the airborne wind turbine research effort.Makani Airborne Wind Turbine.The turbine could be ‘flown’ at perhaps as high as 2000 meters in the air, taking advantage of stronger winds and cutting infrastructure costs with ideas offering multiple turbines on an airframe.Makani Airframe with Four Turbines.Getting up away from the ground allows airborne wind turbines access to the enormous volume of wind that is beyond the reach of traditional turbines, while cutting out the need for the…

  • Bidders Line up for First US Offshore Wind Auction

    Competitive offshore leases for wind energy will be auctioned off by the US federal government for the first time ever on 31 July. The two wind farm leases are off the coasts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts and cover 150 square miles and 100 square miles, respectively. We’ve got the 97,500-acre North Lease and the 67,250-acre South Lease.We may also see another auction for a wind farm lease off the coast of Virginia in the near future, but so far a date has not been set for this. This is only the tip of the iceberg, according to the federal…

  • 2014 Expected to be a Bumper Year for Wind

    According to Bloomberg, Warren Buffet’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. is gearing up to drop $1.9 billion on new wind farms in Iowa. The investment might build as many as 656 new turbines by 2015, which would add as much as 1,050 megawatts of wind power capacity to the 2,285 megawatts the company already operates in the state.The project could also herald a revival in American wind power in general. The anticipated expiration of the production tax credit for wind energy drove a spike in installations in 2012, then a lull into 2013, and finally an anticipated ramp up now that…

  • UK Ministry of Defense Deems Wind Towers a National Security Threat

    Twenty-plus years on, the collapse of the USSR in 1991 threatened massive Western defense budgets, bereft of a major enemy like the “Evil Empire.”Western militaries conveniently found a new global enemy a decade later following the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001, and since then, they have struggled in the light of invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan to adapt their strategies to cope with the new threat, making defending the “homeland” the highest priority.While the U.S. created the “Department of Homeland Security,” Washington’s less prosperous European allies have been forced to seek solutions to indigenous defense largely by themselves beyond…