Monday, September 17, 2012

Renewable Energy Jobs: Slamming Brakes On Here

“We haven’t had the industry come to a stop like this before in a long, long time,” said Walt Hornaday, president of Cielo Wind Power, an Austin-based wind farm developer. His company is pursuing work in other countries, but otherwise, he said, “we would definitely be looking at very large layoffs.”

Texas Wind Boom Threatened by Expiring Tax Credit
September 14, 2012 - When Brad Sawyer graduates next spring from Texas State Technical College in Sweetwater, he hopes to get a job as a wind turbine technician, working on the towering three-bladed machines that dot the West Texas countryside.

“I think that the jobs will be there,” said Sawyer, who is in the wind energy technology associate’s degree program. However, he added, if the federal government changes its policy on wind power, things could get “pretty tight.”

Sawyer and wind power companies are closely watching developments in Washington, where a tax credit benefiting wind farms is due to expire at the end of this year. If Congress does not renew the credit, the implications could be especially significant in Texas, the top wind power state, which contains about a fifth of the nation’s turbines and is building expensive transmission lines to support more growth. Some of the state’s leading Republicans, despite advocating for wind power in the past, are doing little to aid it now. read more>>>

But not in Japan:

New investment in renewable energy projects in Japan
Sep 12, 2012 - Japan has approved more than 33,000 renewable energy projects that can receive subsidies under a new energy law that took effect on July 1, as the country phases out nuclear power after last year's Fukushima disaster.

Of those, 81 are solar power projects with capacity of 1 megawatt (MW) or more each, totalling 243 megawatts, data for the first month of the scheme from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) showed.

Six wind power projects totalling 122 MW have also been approved, as have homeowners and small companies which have installed solar panels on their roofs, totalling 202 MW, and small-sized hydro power projects coming to 0.2 MW.

These projects need to sign contracts with utilities by March 2013 to allow them to sell electricity at the premium set for the current business year, which runs until March 31. read more>>>

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