Articles filed under Impact on Economy
A wind development in Moray will deter visitors from returning to the area, according to a tourism survey carried out by a local accommodation provider. A year long survey in the Dufftown-Glenlivet area suggests 17% of people, mainly walkers, would be put off coming back to the area if it had a wind farm. The survey, begun in March by Tomintoul and Glenlivet Highland Holidays marketing group, has had more than 200 forms returned by visitors staying in the Dufftown-Glenlivet area and expects to have 350 returned by March next year.
A deflating economy has taken the wind out of a massive Panhandle alternative energy project. Tight lending stalled a $2 billion wind farm project headed by billionaire oilman and alternative power proponent T. Boone Pickens. Pickens' BP Capital delayed work on a state permit to build 170 miles of transmission lines carrying enough wind energy to power 300,000 homes.
A wind tower manufacturing company, facing construction costs that were significantly higher than expected, received a shot in the arm Tuesday. Members of the Development Corporation of Abilene voted to approve Tower Tech Systems Inc.'s request for additional money -- up to $700,000 more -- to help cover nearly $7 million in unanticipated building costs.
Texas consumers and taxpayers could pay more than $2.2 billion a year in subsidies and higher transmission costs to take advantage of the state's abundant wind-generation resources, a free-market research group said on Tuesday. The state's current push to accelerate use of wind-generated electricity is "costing, not saving, Texans billions of dollars," said Bill Peacock, director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation's Center for Economic Freedom. ...By 2025, the study said the price tag could total $60 billion as Texas reaches 10,000 megawatts of wind capacity.
Last week the provincial government announced an ambitious $1-billion wind development plan to generate another 500 megawatts of wind power by the year 2013. The government has mapped out where the new wind turbines might go and many are slated to be put up along the tourist area of the North Shore.
Financing for wind farms has disappeared and fewer companies will be able to develop the kind of "mega projects" needed to feed the growing demand for energy, said Reyad Fezzani, CEO of BP's wind and solar operations, at the Dow Jones Alternative Energy Innovations conference Wednesday. In just the last month, money that typically would be available for building renewable-energy projects has "completely dried up," thanks to the financial market crisis, Fezzani said during a keynote and on-stage interview with Yuliya Chernova, editor of Dow Jones' Clean Technology Insight.
Take Gamesa, the Spanish company that's one of the world's biggest manufacturers of wind turbines, with operations from China to Pennsylvania. Wednesday, Gamesa reported a three-fold increase in profits and a fat order book. And what happened? Shares fell by more than 20%, with another 6% slide today. That's because Gamesa also said it would temporarily halt production at some of its wind turbine factories.
Connecticut-based project developer Noble Environmental has sold both phases of its 159MW Noble Thumb wind farm to John Deere and has laid off an unspecified number of staff. The move appears to be part of a company effort to raise cash and reduce costs. New Energy Finance could not reach a current spokesperson for comment. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the sale of the Noble Thumb project on October 14, according to a commission document. The two companies first notified FERC of their intentions on August 27.
For all the support that the presidential candidates are expressing for renewable energy, alternative energies like wind and solar are facing big new challenges because of the credit freeze and the plunge in oil and natural gas prices. ...after years of rapid growth, the sudden headwinds facing renewables point to slowing momentum and greater dependence on government subsidies, mandates and research financing, at a time when Washington is overloaded with economic problems.
Renewable energy's gone in the space of a few months from market darling to whipping boy. Shares in solar- and wind-power companies have suffered even more than the market at large. The outlook for new projects is growing increasingly cloudy. But that's not because renewable energy suddenly got uglier. It's because of the fallout from financial-market turmoil ..."Natural gas at $6 makes wind look like a questionable idea and solar power unfathomably expensive," said Kevin Book, a senior vice president at FBR Capital Markets.
Wind Energy Corporation, a wind turbine manufacturer based in Elizabethtown, closed its Morgantown manufacturing facility last week, resulting in about 17 lost jobs and several disappointed community members. ...The company located its manufacturing plant in Morgantown in July 2007, promising about 260 new jobs in five years. According to reports, the state lured Wind Energy to Morgantown by offering the company $3.4 million in tax incentives.
The massive planned expansion of renewable energy may produce far fewer jobs than the government has claimed, a study has found. Producing enough renewable energy to meet government targets would create about 36,000 jobs in the wind energy sector by 2020, according to a study by Bain & Company for the British Wind Energy Association, to be published today. ...In its renewable energy strategy, published over the summer, the government claimed it would create 160,000 new jobs by 2020.
The prospects of renewable-energy companies soared with oil prices, but the global credit crunch and the easing of energy costs have brought them back to earth with a thud. With banks reluctant to lend and their stock prices tumbling, many green-energy concerns are struggling to find the long-term funding they need to expand in a capital-intensive industry. In the past three months, global renewable-energy stocks tracked by New Energy Finance, a London-based consultancy, have dropped about 45%, compared with a 23% decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the same period. The sector's problems have been compounded by the skid in oil prices to below $70 a barrel.
Financing prospects for large-scale energy projects in Montana have dimmed with the crisis on Wall Street, but some that already are under way should proceed as planned, state officials and developers said. ...Gov. Brian Schweitzer told The Associated Press in a recent interview that several companies assured him their projects will not be derailed by the downturn. Still, he cautioned that the recent heady pace of development could end if the economic outlook remains grim and banks stay reluctant — or unable — to make large loans.
Unless the DWP moves quickly to lock in contracts with alternative energy providers, it risks paying exponentially higher rates for green power to meet a 2010 deadline to double its renewable energy supply. Despite assurances from the Department of Water and Power, some city leaders are skeptical the utility will be able to meet and sustain the 20 percent renewable energy mandate set by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. ...customers are already paying more to cover the transition to green power. The DWP can and has tacked on a surcharge of as much as 4 percent a year to customer bills to cover renewable energy and natural gas expenses.
The nation's severe credit crisis is dimming the appeal of a long-awaited extension for renewable-energy tax credits. After months of delays, Congress finally passed the extension Oct. 3 - just in time for the alternative-energy industry to face the full brunt of the upheaval in financial markets that has sharply reduced commercial lending. Some wind- and solar-energy projects are moving forward under the impetus of the renewed tax credits. But many others are on hold as developers compete for a trickle of available financing.
The credit crunch and falling oil prices threaten to hold up some of Britain's renewable energy projects just as the UK has raised its commitment to green electricity, financiers said yesterday. While large projects backed by the bigger utilities are generally thought to be safe, smaller and more speculative developments are facing funding problems as backers adjust their lending criteria or, in some cases, consider withdrawing it altogether. "The debt is just not there," said John Dupont, head of renewable energy finance in the UK for Nordbank.
A northcoast crabbers' organization is asking for a formal panel review of the NaiKun wind project, which plans to erect up to 100 turbines in Hecate Strait. The formal submission made earlier this month to the provincial Environmental Assessment Office by the Rupert-based Area "A" Crab Association requests the NaiKun project be referred to a panel review so it can receive funding to resolve what it calls major concerns about the proposed NaiKun Wind Farm.
Last month, wind turbine blade manufacturer TPI Composites officially opened its doors in Newton, promising 500 new jobs. Now an incentive plan by the city council hopes to add another 300 jobs. The problem, some former Maytag employees say, is that the county and state are paying for most of the cost of constructing the plant. They're worried that like Maytag, TPI could take the money and pull out of Newton. "I just hope they can live up to their agreements and continue to manufacture blades here in the community," said Maytag retiree Lonnie White.
The instability of the financial markets had caused Noble Environmental Power to "scale back its development plans for 2009" and "(cut) back its workforce." Immediately, construction of a 14-turbine windpark planned for the town of Bellmont will be suspended until July or August of 2009, Bellmont Town Supervisor Bruce Russell said Friday. ...To date, the company has laid foundation for the town's 14 turbines and installed wiring, he said.