Wind industry highlights

DONG Energy takes over US offshore wind project, U.S. homeowners show bipartisan support for wind and corporations buy in as cost of wind drops 50% over five years.

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DONG Energy takes over US offshore wind development project
DONG Energy (Fredericia, Denmark) has agreed to take over RES Americas Developments Inc.’s (RES, Broomfield, CO, US) more than 1000MW newly assigned development project rights off the coast of Massachusetts.

Samuel Leupold, executive VP of Wind Power, said: “The US is an interesting market for offshore wind with the potential to become a significant area for future development. We already have a number of post 2020 projects in our pipeline in North-Western Europe that we will continue to develop. With the takeover of the offshore wind development project in the US, we will broaden our geographical scope and follow the market potential outside of our current footprint.”

A draft policy bill to support the regulatory conditions for offshore wind has been introduced with the Massachusetts government aiming to provide a stable framework that will enable the build-out of projects and the creation of new jobs.

Located roughly 90 km from shore in water depth of 40-50 m, the Massachusetts lease has a total size of 760 km2. “The site conditions are quite similar to those we currently work with in North-Western Europe which means that the project could be developed using well-known technology and logistics,” Leupold commented.

 

Poll of U.S. homeowners shows bipartisan support for solar and wind energy
Conducted by Zogby Analytics (Utica, NY), the 2015 U.S. Homeowner Survey on Clean Energy shows strong support for federal tax incentives that support growth of solar and wind industries. Of those surveyed, 74% favor continuing the incentives, with 82% of Democrats, 67% of Republicans and 72% of independents expressing such support.

Roughly nine out of 10 respondents said renewable energy was important in the U.S. When homeowners were asked to pick which specific energy sources were most important to the nation’s future, solar (50%) and wind (42%) ranked highest, followed by natural gas (33%). Support for development of natural gas and nuclear energy declined significantly with younger respondents. 1,400 U.S. homeowners participated in the survey.

 

Corporate investment in wind continues as cost drops over 50% in five years
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA, Washington, DC, US) reports that as the cost of wind energy has dropped by more than half in just five years, there has been a steady increase in U.S. businesses, governmental agencies, and universities making direct investments in wind power to lock in low prices and reduce their carbon footprints.  

According to AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan, “We’re seeing an expanding market for corporate purchasers that value wind both because it is clean and offers stable electricity prices.”

“Over 23% of the wind power contracts signed in 2014 were with corporate buyers and other non-utility groups,” said Emily Williams, deputy director of industry data and analysis for AWEA. “This trend is a meaningful source of new demand for wind power. The private and public sectors are saying ‘we value wind power, and we want more of it.’”

New analysis on the rising corporate and non-utility purchaser trend will be featured in AWEA’s 2014 U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report, set for release on April 15. The upcoming annual report will provide a comprehensive update on the state of the U.S. wind market, including the latest wind industry job numbers, investment figures, state-by-state comparisons, market rankings and more.

In the past year, major corporations like Amazon, Dow Chemical, and Yahoo! entered into their first power purchase agreements (PPAs) for wind-generated electricity, while tech companies Google and Microsoft continue to sign new contracts.