In the news: Smart grid, tech and local initiatives boost wind industry

In the news: Smart grid, tech and local initiatives boost wind industry

In this week’s news, we noticed new projections for global wind by Pike Research, while smart grid technology took the focus of the Department of Energy (DOE). Here are our top five picks of the week for renewable energy news.

Global Wind Power Capacity to Triple by 2017 Pike Research
After years of strong growth, the wind energy industry experienced a significant slowdown in 2010 as a result of the global economic recession. Given the 18-month project cycle for a wind farm from feasibility study to electricity production, the global downturn had a delayed impact on the pace of new wind power installations. Wind power experienced strong cumulative growth in 2008 (29%) and 2009 (32%), due to a large volume of projects that had been initiated in late 2006 through 2008. However, 2010 results (22% growth) reflect the impact of the recession on what is still one of the world’s most significant renewable energy markets.

Word Choice Matters for Energy Policy
New York Times
When President Barack Obama speaks about the fuels of the future, his term of choice is usually “clean energy.” At the “Twitter Town Hall” last week, where people asked the president questions via Twitter, Mr. Obama referred to “clean energy” five times. The only similar term he used was “alternative energy,” once. Other descriptors, like “renewable,” “sustainable” and “green,” were not mentioned.

To ensure wind power dev't, DoE turns to 'smart grid'
The Department of Energy is looking to tap the smart grid technology to address the technical challenges faced by wind power developers in order to ensure that some P211 billion worth of indicative projects will push through starting this year until 2030. According to the National Renewable Energy Plan (NREP), the use of the smart grid technology will demonstrate how it can effectively and efficiently integrate intermittent wind power generating facilities into the three main grids. That move may help encourage investors to push through with the 57 projects that can bring in 2,345 megawatts in additional capacities.

Oklahoma No. 6 in US for wind power capacity
Tulsa World
Crosscurrents in the financial and commodity markets slowed U.S. wind energy's progress in 2010, but Oklahoma still managed to build its way into the nation's top 10 for newly installed power generation, according to a federal report released Thursday. Oklahoma ranked sixth nationwide with 352 megawatts in new-build wind power capacity last year, the U.S. Department of Energy stated in its annual "Wind Technologies Development Report." The state also finished 10th in raising its wind-power portion of total electricity generation to an estimated 6.9 percent.

Nation and Nevada should invest and help spur renewable energy industry
Las Vegas Sun
There is no doubt that the United States needs to find more sources of energy, and the country has the potential to lead in the development of renewable energy. However, a report issued by the Brookings Institution on Wednesday found the nation has been hampered in its efforts by several challenges, including uncertainty over public policy. The report says the U.S. needs to be strategic about its investment in what the authors call the clean economy, the segment of the nation’s economy that produces goods and services with an environmental benefit. The country certainly needs to make green energy a priority to stabilize our energy future.

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