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View Diary: Why Are Some in Congress Content to Let Wind Industry Jobs Blow Away? (18 comments)

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  •  Are PTCs still needed? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy

    Numerous postings here have shown how wind energy costs less than coal and nuclear.  With the recent EPA standards, coal plants will be shut down and their production needs to be replaced.  Many states also have renewable energy standards.

    We may have passed the point where PTCs are no longer needed.  Maybe we don't have to cut the taxes of GE, Large utilities and other billion dollar companies to get them to support Wind, as they don't really have an alternative.

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 09:23:06 AM PDT

    •  Those numerous postings, of course, are (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus

      wildly optimistic (quite frankly, I'm not sure what motivates them . .. . .).

      In particular, for wind & solar to get past the niche/boutique phase, massive investment in improving "the grid" is needed.

      And there seems to be absolutely no realistic mechanism in the offing to fund that (d'ohh!)

      •  If that is the case. Moving spending for PTCs (0+ / 0-)

        to improving the grid, would be far more productive for expanding use of renewables.

        The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

        by nextstep on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 09:33:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't have the links at my fingertips (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nextstep, Odysseus

          but Germany's massive investment in their grid now allows something like 30 to 35% use of intermittent electricity sources (such as wind & solar) while in the US, our inferior grid typically is limited to ~15% (which is maxed out in places like Hawaii and parts of California).

          Of course, in Germany electricity costs twice as much as here - and there'd be some loud bipartisan screaming if that were to change!

          •  We will see if the wind industry has the maturity (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Roadbed Guy

            to see how reallocating PTC funding to the grid is in their best interest.

            The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

            by nextstep on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 09:51:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The wind industry is actually doing OK (0+ / 0-)

              relatively speaking - for example, even though China has 50% more installed capacity than we do, we generate more electricity - the disparity is apparently because their grid is even worse than ours.

              And I suspect that because wind power is largely the domain of huge corporations, they have the wherewithal to upgrade the portion of the grid needed to get their product to market.

              The same cannot be said about rooftop solar, however, provided by the average consumer.

      •  Grid versus projects (0+ / 0-)

        Iowa, Texas, and South Dakota have all cleared 20% of the state's total generation from wind.  I would rate that more than "boutique" or "niche" levels.  They have needed no wholesale revamp of the grid to get there, although lines have certainly been added in TX.  PJM (the mid atlantic grid) found they could go to 30% renewables without incident after doing some basic (not transformational) transmission upgrades.  So, I think that in many places we have a long way to go before we hit a transmission ceiling on wind.  It's not an either/or choice. Need to do both.

    •  Are PTCs still needed (0+ / 0-)

      For better or worse, wind financing has long depended on tax equity markets to take advantage of the PTC.  Though the price of generating wind power is dropping, there will need to be a wholesale transition to new financing mechanisms should the PTC go away.  That should not be done abruptly and/or unconsciously.  

      •  To a great extent regulation that compel the use (0+ / 0-)

        of renewable provides an alternative incentive. Required renewable energy portfolios and the recent EPA CO2 rulings for power generation do this.

        The politics however are very different.  Those who directly benefit from the tax preferences will use great resources to fight to keep those preferences.

        The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

        by nextstep on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 01:35:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Incentives and mandates (0+ / 0-)

          RPSs and incentives like the PTC have worked together for more than a decade to deliver a 10-fold increase in wind generation capacity.  The PTC has played an important role in being able to meet the goals set out by the states.

          •  I appreciate the diary, but I hope you do (0+ / 0-)

            start to publish them under your own name next time. Less confusing that way.

            I'd also like to put in a plug for the likely Democratic challenger to Tim Walberg (who is a tool of Big Money in all areas): Pam Byrnes. Pam has a good campaign infrastructure, she's a seasoned politician, and she has a good chance of winning. Supporting her is a good way to reinforce the funding mechanisms behind wind energy expansion.
            Thanks.

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            by peregrine kate on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 09:45:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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