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Wind Trends to Watch for in 2010

wind and skyWith wind turbine prices falling and government incentives rising, more businesses should be able to adopt wind power in the coming year, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

In identifying top wind trends for 2010, the AWEA notes that the 30 percent federal investment tax credit on small wind systems has been expanded for eight years.

Additionally, while some wind farms have been put on hold due to environmental concerns related to the proposed sites, the industry should expect some clarity in 2010. The Wind Turbine Guidelines Advisory Committee of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to issue its guidance on the subject.

Here are some more predictions from AWEA:

– Wind power should continue its six-year trend as the second-leading source of new power generating capacity in the U.S., trailing natural gas power plants.

– Utilities and operators of electric grids will become more comfortable with integrating wind energy with minimal added costs. However, AWEA predicts that the fossil fuel industry may try some backdoor methods of imposing new or unfair costs on wind plants.

– Wind turbines will become more powerful in 2010, AWEA predicts. There are already more than 1,000 2 MW wind turbines in operation in the U.S., and a new wind project in Shephard’s Flat, Ore., ordered 338 2.5 MW turbines from GE.

With regard to wind power progress in 2009, AWEA said that strong support for a national renewable electricity standard in the House of Representatives was a highlight.

Additionally, AWEA noted that electricity from wind turbines installed through 2009 will save more than 20 billion gallons of water annually, which would otherwise be used for steam or cooling in conventional power plants.

To see more 2009 wind highlights, click here.

Globally, wind power is gaining a reputation for its potential to solve a multitude of problems.

For instance, as developed nations try to reduce their emissions, wind power can help achieve as much as 65 percent of the cuts pledged by 2020, according to the Global Wind Energy Council.

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2 thoughts on “Wind Trends to Watch for in 2010

  1. As a colonial-rooted Cape Cod native who firmly believes in the sanctity of our maritime heritage, I am writing to ardently express my steadfast support for the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound. Based upon sensible logic, data and reasoning, I am also conversely opposed to the controversial Cape Wind Project which seeks to despoil and rob us of the pristine nautical legacy bestowed by our forefathers. As a result of the likely profound damaging regional financial, ecological and public safety consequences Cape Wind would wrought upon us all, it should not be allowed to proceed forward to fruition.

    The project poses a cogent danger to essential air and sea navigation. Siting the project in Nantucket Sound is a breach of the public trust. Contrary to their sham claims, the cost of the electricity which the project will produce would not be cheap or competitive. It would be an unbearable fiscal burden hoisted upon us without our sanction or consent. Furthermore, it will represent a deleterious local economic blow by it’s absconding of undeserved taxpayer-funded subsidies, forced real estate devaluations, and lost revenues from commercial and tourism activities. The proposed one hundred thirty wind turbines will perpetually cause unsightly visual contamination and distressing noise pollution. Finally, Cape Wind will unnecessarily endanger a critical marine and wildlife habitat.

    With the aforesaid thoughtful rationales in mind, along with the inherently unfair and inequitable nature of the proposed Cape Wind Project itself, it must not become a reality which will forever doom our children and grandchildren to a ghastly socially inhumane legacy.

    Ron Beaty
    West Barnstable, MA

  2. Ron: I am also worried about “ghastly socially inhumane legacy,” and this is not it. Time to look forward to what is coming.

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