Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

Funds from the $787 billion stimulus package and other federal assistance kept growth in the renewable energy sector strong in 2009, a trend that will probably persist as federal investment continues to pay off over the coming year, industry leaders said in a teleconference Tuesday.The picture was especially good for the solar industry, which created almost 20,000 new jobs in 2009 while adding 470 megawatts in generating capacity, a record, according to Rhone Resch, the president of the Solar Energy Industries Association. The solar industry could create as many as 45,000 new jobs in 2010 if Congress extends several tax incentives and grant programs set to expire at the end of the year, Mr. Resch said.\"I think 2010 is going to be a bigger year than 2009,\" he said. \"Most analysts expect the solar industry to grow by 100 percent this year.\"Yet while the near-term outlook for renewables is mostly positive, the industry\'s long-term prospects will be shaped significantly by energy legislation under consideration by Congress, the executives said. At the top of renewable executives\' wish list was the passage of a national renewable energy standard, which would require all utilities to generate a certain fraction of electricity from sources

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The Michigan Public Service Commission has approved two grants totaling about $1.7 million for studying the development of offshore wind technologies in the state.Grand Valley State University\'s Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center and the University of Michigan\'s Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute are getting $1.3 million for jointly researching offshore wind and ice data on Lake Michigan.The Superior Watershed Partnership is to receive $350,000 for researching sites\' wind energy potential on Lake Michigan. The organization also will assess public opinion on offshore wind development.The commission is an agency within the state\'s Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth. 

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It started as just an idea, but now the thought of a wind farm in mid-Missouri could become a reality.Mark Chamberlin is a chicken and dairy farmer who originally had the idea to put a wind turbine on his property.\"You always have a lot of time to think when you\'re in tractors,\" Chamberlin said. \"The wind is always blowing here.\"Chamberlin operates a farm in northern Benton County, atop a ridge that sits above the rest of Missouri. In fact, the top of one of his silos is the tallest point in Benton County. It was this elevation combined with the windy climate that made him think he could make some extra money. Since then, Chamberlin\'s plan has expanded into a possible 3,000-megawatt wind farm spanning 20,000 acres.\"We stand a good chance and the better job we do putting this together, I think we can bring [a wind farm] to central Missouri,\" Chamberlin said.So far, about 60 farmers have agreed to take part in the wind farm, committing 16,000 acres of the group\'s goal - 20,000 acres. Last week, the community met in the town of Cole Camp to discuss the possibility of a wind farm. Chamberlin says they had a

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Interior Secretary Ken Salazar journeyed out into Nantucket Sound on a Coast Guard vessel last week to signal the Obama administration\'s readiness to put some muscle behind wind energy. To do that, Salazar has to resolve a battle over building a wind farm on 25 square miles of open water that has driven a rift between environmentalists, infuriated local Native Americans and threatened one of the administration\'s cherished priorities.The nearly decade-long fight over whether to construct a 130-turbine offshore wind farm near Martha\'s Vineyard has spurred numerous state and federal regulatory reviews. It has cost millions in lobbying fees and has prompted an intense political debate on Cape Cod and in Washington, setting those who back renewable energy against those who want to preserve the natural beauty of Nantucket Sound.\"The worst thing we can do for the country is to be in a state of indecision, and this application has been in a state of indecision for a very long time,\" said Salazar, who came to see the proposed site of the Cape Wind project and to meet with tribes that oppose it.With many other obstacles resolved, including the wind farm\'s potential hindrance to navigation and fishing and harm to

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President Obama is spending $2.1 million to help Suntech Power Holdings build a solar-panel plant in Arizona. It will hire 70 Americans to assemble components made by Suntech\'s 11,000 Chinese workers.That gap shows the challenge Obama faces as he works to create \"green\" jobs. Asia makes more than half the world\'s wind and solar energy equipment, and is gaining ground as U.S. factories lose out to cheaper labor and higher demand for clean energy. China for the first time topped the U.S. in wind-turbine manufacturing and installations last year, the Brussels-based Global Wind Energy Council said Wednesday in a report.Obama is giving billions of dollars in tax breaks to the wind and solar industries to create jobs in the United States even as production expands faster overseas. First Solar Inc., the world\'s largest maker of thin-film solar-power modules, won $16.3 million to add 200 manufacturing jobs at its Ohio plant, yet 71 percent of its planned factory growth will go to Malaysia. The company employs 4,500 globally.\"The cost of manufacturing here is too expensive compared to Asia,\" said Guy Chaffin, chief executive officer of Elite Search International, an executive search firm in Roseville, Calif., that has found employees for Tempe,

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The world\'s wind power capacity grew by 31 per cent in 2009, according to statistics released by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).The boost added 37.5 GW to total global wind power installations, bringing the figure up to 157.9 GW.One third of these additions were made in China, which experienced yet another year of over 100 per cent growth.China was the world\'s largest wind energy market, nearly doubling its wind generation capacity from 12.1 GW in 2008 to 25.1 GW at the end of 2009.A newly added capacity of 1,270 MW in India and some smaller additions in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan made Asia the biggest regional market for wind energy in 2009, with more than 14 GW of new capacity.However, the US maintains a comfortable lead in terms of total installed capacity, according to the GWEC. Despite the financial downturn, the US wind energy market installed nearly 10 GW in 2009, increasing the country\'s installed capacity by 39 per cent, and bringing the total installed grid-connected capacity to 35 GW.\"The continued rapid growth of wind power despite the financial crisis and economic downturn is testament to the inherent attractiveness of the technology, which is clean, reliable and quick

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New Energy Husum, in cooperation with the World Wind Energy Association, is hosting the 1st World Summit for Small-scale Wind - Turbines, with participants and speakers from 11 nations.Leading experts from Egypt, Argentina, Belgium, China, Denmark, Germany, the United Kingdom, India, Mali, Spain and the USA will be presenting an overview of the use and potential of small wind turbines in each of these countries. High-calibre speakers will be talking about the status and importance of international standards as this technology spreads.

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The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) has welcomed the publication of the European Energy Regulators (ERGEG) draft strategy on the role of Regional Initiatives towards a single energy market in Europe."Regional Initiatives are a very good step forward, but the final aim remains the creation of a single European market for energy, which should be in place by 2015. Regional Initiatives are an effective tool towards the establishment of a single market", Paul Wilczek, Regulatory Affairs Advisor at EWEA said. EWEA would like to see a strategy for moving forward from Regional Initiatives to deeper market integration across Europe, and a timeline for the creation of a single European market. Market integration is of high importance for the wind industry whose cost-effective integration into the electricity market hinges on the development of integrated electricity markets across the EU. Rules that ensure an efficient allocation of electricity from renewable sources such as wind power are also critical to the development of wind power. A properly functioning single market will be a building block for a future power system characterised by flexibility and an increased number of market entrants, facilitating the integration of wind and other renewables. In addition

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Husum's New Energy trade fair, which with around 16,000 visitors last year - well over half of which were trade visitors - making it one of the best visited events in the renewable energy sector, announces an increase in exhibition space of over fifty percent for the exhibition in March 2010.In 2009 there were 148 exhibitors over 6,900 square metres in two exhibition halls. Now, two months before the start of the fair, more than 180 exhibitors have already registered for New Energy 2010. The organisers expect the number to have risen to a good 200 by the beginning of March.Innovations from all areas of the renewable energy sector will be shown in three large exhibition halls and the open-air section, with the exhibition space totalling 10,500 square metres."Almost all the 2009 exhibitors are back again, and will be showcasing their new products on larger exhibition spaces. We are also pleased to announce exhibitors from Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, Lithuania, China, Korea, Finland, Sweden, Spain and the USA. Numerous Danish businesses will also be exhibiting together for the first time on a large communal stand", confirmed Kira Sönksen, New Energy Husum project manager.Once again, the main themes of

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Data released Tuesday by the American Wind Energy Association show that Michigan's efforts to diversify into wind energy face some significant headwindsOrders for new wind turbines have slowed dramatically and the state lagged far behind others last year in the installation of wind turbines, the association's report shows. And any hope that production of wind turbines and parts will pick up this year largely depends on what happens in Washington."The manufacturers are not at all that optimistic," said Kathy Belyeu, AWEA's manager of industry information services. "There's a possibility 2010 could be a good year, but it could also be a slow year."Though installation of wind-generating capacity hit a record in 2009, Michigan only added 14 megawatts of capacity last year, ranking 26th out of 28 states.Michigan has only 143 megawatts of total wind-generating capacity, compared with 1,809 megawatts in Minnesota.This year, the state is supposed to gain 20.2 megawatts of capacity.Nationwide, the number of jobs associated with wind power remained flat last year, at 85,000. In 2009, 38 new wind-power manufacturing facilities came online, were announced or were expanded, one-third fewer than in 2008. 

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