Category — American Wind Energy Association
“Regular people only need to understand that this is likely the most progressive clean energy action the federal government will take this year.” – Center for American Progress
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is capable of making bold moves under the radar. Last year it imposed a $245 million sanction on a major utility without too much fuss. Beginning this year, as part of a landmark rulemaking called Order No. 1000, FERC will be lending a multi-billion-dollar hand to large wind developers.
According to FERC, “Order No. 1000 is a Final Rule that reforms the Commission’s electric transmission planning and cost allocation requirements for public utility transmission providers.”
At the risk of oversimplifying a 600+ page document, Order No. 1000 essentially adds a requirement that (1) transmission providers consider new projects driven by state and federal “public policy,” and (2) planning regions do away with “participant funding,” at least at the regional and inter-regional level, which means that transmission costs must be allocated over a broad region. There was also a third major requirement (that transmission providers remove language regarding the “right of first refusal” from their tariffs), but let’s save that for another day.
If the combination of (1) and (2) above sounds like a rent-seeker’s dream, then kudos for seeing through the jargon. To put it differently, regional electricity transmission plans must take state and federal public policies into account, no matter how costly or ineffective they are (think renewable energy mandates).
Then the costs of the transmission lines built according to those plans are socialized. How great is that if you’re a large wind developer? States mandate that their citizens buy your intermittent power, and then a regulatory agency helps you spread one of your biggest costs far and wide, across state lines and to countless unaware consumers. [Read more →]
April 8, 2013 10 Comments
“The sheer ridiculousness of the [six-year, front loaded PTC extension] outraged Congressional members and may well have changed the debate. It’s NO coincidence that within 24-hours of AWEA’s poorly received proposal, Denise Bode bailed. A move that sudden suggests the industry thinks it’s better off without her and probably without AWEA’s inflexible, out-of-touch campaign.”
The American Wind Energy Association’s relentless, year-long lobbying campaign to secure extension of the wind production tax credit (“PTC”) hit major headwinds last week, which precipitated the abrupt resignation of its CEO, Denise Bode.
Branded the “Save USA Wind Jobs,” AWEA’s plan tried to stigmatize Congressional members from Red and windy states with the argument: oppose the PTC, and you oppose American jobs.
But rather than gaining support, resistance intensified to extending the PTC. With only two weeks remaining in 2012, it’s not certain what will happen with the subsidy, but one thing is clear: AWEA’s robotic jobs jab has chilled its effectiveness. Big Bucks cronyism does have its limits.
Changing Market; Inflexible Messaging
Prior to 2008, wind was still a niche resource. Under 15,000 megawatts of installed wind was eligible for the PTC and the price tag for the subsidy, in total for its first 15 years (1992–2007), was under $6 billion and less than $1 billion in any one year. Each time the PTC was up for renewal, Congress complied.
Since then, wind installations in the U.S. ballooned to over 50,000 megawatts, and the carrying cost for a 1-year extension is now projected to be $12 billion.
In today’s economic climate, AWEA’s campaign messaging is withering under challenge. [Read more →]
December 17, 2012 18 Comments
“Unfortunately the [wind] industry has begun letting workers go up and down our American manufacturing supply chain…. Congress must [extend subsidies] now to give wind energy a stable business environment… to … save 37,000 American jobs by the first quarter of next year.”
- Denise Bode (AWEA), Press Release, August 9, 2012
“He who lives by a legalized sword, will perish by a legalized sword.”
- Ayn Rand, “The Moratorium on Brains II,” Ayn Rand Letter, 1971
The wind industry is imploding, and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is providing the details. Suffice it to say that there will be no Jay Leno at the next AWEA confab.
With accumulating layoffs, extending the Production Tax Credit (PTC) is increasingly becoming too late. AWEA has been warming about 10,000 job losses by September 1, and now the number is 37,000 in the next seven or so months.
Wind companies are wising up to the fact that consumers don’t like their product. And who wants to bet their future on politicians with federal deficit reduction being the elephant in the room? If AWEA is to be believed, there will not be much of an industry to save in a matter of months.
Here are the latest layoff announcements, according to AWEA:
- In Tulsa, Okla., DMI Industries announced 167 workers will be unemployed by November;
- In West Fargo, N.D., DMI Industries said 216 jobs stand at risk; [Read more →]
August 20, 2012 7 Comments
No Jay Leno this year at the annual confab of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Instead of celebration and jokes (all at the expense of taxpayers and ratepayers), there is doom and gloom.
Bill Opalka reports at EnergyBiz:
Failure to extend the production tax credit would devastate the domestic wind energy supply chain and virtually wipe out wind power development next year, officials stressed during the June 4 opening of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) annual conference in Atlanta.
But the public is catching on to the industrial wind ruse. The lead comment (7:48 AM) on Opalka’s article says much about how fatigue has set in to this ancient, postmodernistic energy source:
Will this desire to feed at the public trough never end? The mere fact that wind needs the PTCs to survive tells us very loudly and clearly it is not a competitive power technology at this time. The mass deployment of wind is interfering with the natural order of the free market. Many older coal plants and gas-fired steam plants would have been replaced by newer, more efficient, and cleaner supercritical or ultra-supercritical coal plants and/or gas turbine combined cycle power plants based on the costs of fuel and maintenance…. [Read more →]
June 6, 2012 8 Comments
Government Gluttony at the American Wind Energy Association (Summers/Browner/ Klain memo indicates growing ‘wind fatigue’)
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is on a mission to keep its members fat and happy as they bloat up at the public trough. The goals are simple:
1) Create a set-aside power market that pays a premium for wind energy and eliminates competition for lower-cost, more reliable fuel options;
2) Encourage policies that pave the way for wind-related transmission development at the expense of rate- and taxpayers; and
3) Make permanent the free-flow of public subsidies for renewables and shield the spigot from changing political and economic tides.
In the last two years, AWEA’s had some success. On the power market front, more than half the States have RPS programs mandating that a percentage of their electricity needs be met with renewable energy. Many states have loose enough standards to avoid the damage that otherwise would be done, but Texas, in particular, has coerced its way into windpower growth (the legacy of Enron, by the way).
Senator Bingham (D-NM) introduced a bill seeking the same non-compete set-aside for the entire country that he hopes will be acted on during the lame-duck session. (See Daren Bakst’s criticism of this proposal here.) [Read more →]
November 15, 2010 8 Comments
[Note: This article has been updated to Twenty Bad Things about Windpower — go here.]
Trying to pin down the arguments of wind promoters is a bit like trying to grab a greased balloon. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on it, it squirts away. Let’s take a quick highlight review of how things have evolved.
1 – Wind energy was abandoned well over a hundred years ago, as it was totally inconsistent with our burgeoning more modern needs of power, even in the late 1800s. When we throw the switch, we expect that the lights will go on — 100% of the time. It’s not possible for wind energy, by itself, to ever do this, which is one of the main reasons it was relegated to the dust bin of antiquated technologies (along with such other inadequate sources like horse power).
2 – Fast forward to several years ago. With politicians being convinced by lobbyists that Anthropological Global Warming (AGW) was an imminent threat, a campaign was begun to favor all things that would purportedly reduce CO2. Wind energy was thus resurrected, as its marketers pushed the fact that wind turbines did not produce CO2 in their generation of electricity.
3 – Of course, just that by itself is not significant, so the original wind development lobbyists then made the case for a quantum leap: that by adding wind turbines to the grid we could significantly reduce CO2 from fossil fuel electrical sources (especially coal). This argument became the basis for many states’ implementing a Renewable Energy Standard (RES) — which mandated that their utilities use an increased amount of wind energy.
4 – Why was a mandate necessary? Simply because the real world reality of integrating wind energy made it a very expensive option. As such, no utility company would likely do this on their own. They had to be forced to. [Read more →]
September 20, 2010 36 Comments