The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has reported that in the 1rst quarter of this year 2,800 MW of new wind energy capacity was added to the nations existing stock. This is much needed good news for an industry reeling from frozen credit markets and the recession. In the first three months of this year (2009) the AWEA reported that approximately three dozen developers started wind farms in 15 states adding about twice the capacity that came on line last year during the same period. This is enough to power for more than 800,000 average American homes.

The wind energy sector has been hard hit, along with other renewable energy sectors by the financial crisis, because it has large up front capital needs. Most of the cost of a wind farm is in up front capital costs and in financing costs over the project lifetime.

In a much needed bit of good news for the sector the Treasury Department is expected to release new rules as part of the U.S. stimulus package that would allow for something closer to a rebates for wind investments as an alternative to tax credits.

So far this year somewhere around three dozen new projects had been announced with a potential of 3,540 MW of generating capacity, which is s somewhat higher figure than many in the sector had feared. Some of these projects were motivated by the stimulus package. The industry seems to be in a wait and see mode — for details in the stimulus package financing to become clear.

Even though this news does give a needed boost to moral the sector is still reeling from the credit freeze and is currently suffering major layoffs.

© 2009, Chris de Morsella. All rights reserved. Do not republish.

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Author: Chris de Morsella (146 Articles)

After a decade performing as a lead guitarist for rock bands, Chris de Morsella decided to return to the career his uncle mentored him in as a youth....Software Engineering. Since that time he has thrown himself into his work. He has designed a compound document publishing architecture for regulatory submissions capable of handling very large multi-document FDA regulatory drug approval submissions, for Liquent, a division of Thompson Publishing. At the Associated Press, Chris worked with senior editors at facilities around the world, to develop a solution for replacing existing editorial systems with an integrated international content management solution. He lead the design effort at Microsoft for a help system for mobile devices designed to provide contextual help for users. Chris also helped to develop the web assisted installer for LifeCam2.0, the software for Microsoft’s web cam and developed late breaking features for the product He also served with the Rhapsody client team to redesign and build a major new release of Real Networks Rhapsody client product. His most recent assignment has been Working with the Outlook Mobile Time Management team for the next release of Outlook Mobile for the SmartPhone. Chris' interests are in green building and architecture, smart grid, the cloud, geo-thermal energy, solar energy, smart growth, organic farming and permaculture. Follow Chris on Twitter.