2011 experienced strong progress in wind power capacity in California Grid. According to a report published by the U.S. Department of Energy, California had the strongest addition of wind power to the grid in the US.
High honors were received by several states, which included but not limited to Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Colorado. At least, 500 MW of energy comes from wind turbines, or enough power to give light to 125,000 homes was churned out by these states.
While the goings good and relatively cheap, people would rush to “get into the game” this year, and it could be improved even more for wind energy. Of course, the various federal tax incentives and subsidies that made renewable energy more attractive are now nearing an expire date. The winds of change will sweep across the country after this.
These tax incentives are those that are tucked within the compact wording of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The report reads that one provides a “30% cash grant from the Treasury in lieu of federal tax credits.” More than 60% of investors jumped at this opportunity. Another allows wind power projects to “choose a 30% investment tax credit instead of the production tax credit.”
Basically, over the last few years it became much easier for wind project developers, which were mostly comprised of independent businesses rather than utilities, to work with investment banks and insurance companies to get their farms up and running. Roughly, around 3% of the nation’s electricity is now provided by American wind farms, and are also habitually built here right on U.S. terra firma. At least, it’s a fingerprint even though it doesn’t approach the pervasive imprint like coal, oil, natural gas or nuclear have in producing electricity.
There have been technical and fiscal improvements in installing the farms, the prices of turbines, and the price of the energy itself, apart from tax incentives, which aren’t in the least the only boost to thank for this. The zest with which new wind power projects were created since 2009 is not predicted to continue spreading like seeds in the wind without the continued support from federal policies, in combination with the low price of other energies, mostly natural gas.
Source: Scientific America