The renewable energy will be central in economic and political agenda in 2010, as we see already and The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has defined some renewable energy trends and indicators in 2010.
– 2010 will be identified with one of the leading sources of new power generation in 2010, it will continue to be the wind. While wind makes up only about 2% of total electricity supply, it is one of the largest sources of new power generation in the country, second only to natural-gas generation in terms of new capacity built each year since 2005.
– Enactment of a national renewable electricity standard (RES) can be an important job-creation policy, according to AWEA. An RES can provide the long-term certainty that companies need to invest in new facilities and train workers to make the 8,000 components that go into a modern wind turbine.
– U.S. wind turbine component manufacturing lagged in 2009. If an RES is passed early in the year, however, it will work in synergy with the short-term American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 incentives.
– Tighter limits on emissions reveal true cost, so efforts to pad climate and energy legislation with subsidies to ensure the survival of the more polluting technologies will continue.
– Over 1,000 wind turbines larger than 2 MW are already in commercial operation in the U.S., and the year-end order for 338 GE 2.5 MW wind turbines for the Shepherd’s Flat wind project in Oregon is the harbinger of a shift in orders toward such larger turbines, according to AWEA.
– While federal transmission policy is under discussion as part of pending energy legislation, states and regions are where key decisions are made in terms of transmission investment.
– As wind penetrations grow higher in the U.S. and Europe in 2010, utilities and grid operators should become more comfortable with this new source of power.
– Another year of record growth is expected for the small wind market in 2010 due to a federal investment tax credit that has been expanded.
– The wind energy industry is looking forward to the completion of the Wind Turbine Guidelines Advisory Committee process (discussions on wind turbine siting held under the Federal Advisory Committee Act with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and a broad range of stakeholders) to provide the industry with greater clarity on wildlife surveys and considerations that are expected to be part of the siting process for wind farms.