The clean energy sector is entering a phase of dramatic change in which business models are being transformed against a backdrop of regulatory uncertainty, as the industry emerges from a challenging period caused by the global economic downtown. Technologies and business structures that were once abandoned, are now being revived in several key sectors.
New technologies, feed-in tariffs, and tax credits are helping propel the small wind industry, especially in the United States. Once found mostly in rural areas, small wind installations are now starting to pop up on urban rooftops.
Utilities don’t like wind not because it’s not competitive, but because it brings prices down for their existing assets, thus lowering their revenues and their profits. Thus the permanent propaganda campaign against wind. The reality is that wind power brings prices down for consumers.
After feed-in tariff legal uncertainty, a January 2010 report by the National Regulatory Research Institute finds that states can successfully and legally implement feed-in tariff programs to accelerate renewable energy projects.
Dr. Gabriel Alvarez from King Juan Carlos University authored a May 2009 study entitled “Study of the effects on employment of public aid to renewable energy sources” (KJCU Study). Dr. Alvarez has tried repeatedly to correlate the Spanish investment and experience with Renewable Energy technologies (RETs) with that of the U.S. However, even cursory analyses of the Spanish public policies that have been employed over the past decade reveal significant and dramatic differences from the current and proposed domestic (U.S.) approach to RET deployment, and thereby obviate any implied correlation between the negative conclusions of the KJCU Study and the impact of the domestic RET investment. Additionally, included within the KJCU Study are several assumptions with respect to the economics of the U.S. investment inRETs that are fundamentally incorrect.