Wind Industry Gets a One-Year Lifeline

Modern Energy Roundup - January 2, 2013

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted January 2, 2013

Today in Modern Energy News. . .

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently issued an Executive Order that directs state agencies to increase the energy efficiency of state buildings by 20 percent. The goal must be met by 2020.

The Governor also launched a new program that will use state building energy data to prioritize projects that can deliver the greatest energy savings per dollar. Those buildings that are the largest and most inefficient will be among the first to undergo energy efficiency upgrades, such as new lighting fixtures and controls, HVAC systems, electric motors and automated energy management systems.

Despite cuts to solar subsidies in Germany, German developers added a record number of solar panels in the first 11 months of last year.

Installations resulting in more than 7,200 megawatts more than doubled that which was initially targeted by the government. This is a 62 percent gain over the previous year's numbers. For the full year of 2012, installations are expected to top 8,000 megawatts.

It looks like the wind power tax credits survived the fiscal cliff deal. But I wouldn't get too excited. The credit was extended only for an additional year. Which, as we see time and time again does not allow for any real, long-term commitment by developers or manufacturers.

Of course, I still don't believe subsides are the best way to transition our energy economy, anyway. The truth is, decades worth of subsidies in the energy markets has never allowed for a real free market to flourish. It's why prohibitively expensive nuclear power still exists in its current form and it's why you don't pay $8.00 for a gallon of 87 octane. If you did, we wouldn't need any form of tax credit to help sell electric cars. But that's another diatribe, for another day.

In the meantime, I am happy to know that the extension of the tax credit could end up saving as many as 37,000 jobs. I just hope they're keeping their resumes fresh for next year.