Energy Secretary “Nervous” that Congress’s Proposed Plan to Mandate the Use of Expensive, Unreliable Power Nationwide Doesn’t Quite Go Far Enough.
The Hill (2/20) reports, “Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Saturday that major Capitol Hill renewable electricity proposals would not prompt additional generation from sources like wind and solar power beyond the increases expected under existing programs. A “renewable electricity standard” (RES) that forces many utilities to supply escalating amounts of their power from renewable sources over time has long been a pillar of Democratic energy and climate bills, but has not become law. An RES approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee last year sets a 15 percent renewable target by 2021, but roughly a fourth of that could be met through energy efficiency measures.
“My fear is that unless Congress passes something that is a little bit more than that, there will not be that incentive,” he said at a forum on energy issues at the governors’ meeting. Chu said he would like to see a standard that is “a little bit more aggressive than what’s being considered.” He noted that Vestas is “nervous” that unless there is a strong national standard, the market will not have sustained growth.
Don’t Show This to Tom Friedman (or Steve Chu): Top Wind Developer In China Tells Reporters “The Blades Do Not Work As Well As We Thought.”
China Daily (2/22) reports, “Businessman Xu Zhichun’s plans were thrown up in the air when demand for the wind turbine blades his company made suddenly crashed. The vice-general manager of Tianjin Dongqi Wind Turbine Blade Engineering Co discovered few any longer wanted the 37.5-meter blades that were popular two or three years ago. “We were caught unprepared,” said Xu. “The blades do not work as well as we thought, and we had to step up production of longer. “It’s like taking a roller coaster: We are falling all the way from the top to the bottom,” said Xu.
Prices of turbine blades have decreased by about one third compared with those in 2004. Profit margins in some companies were 25 to 30 percent in 2004, but now the figures are just about 10 percent, said an industry insider.”We are not losing money, but not making much profit, either,” said Liang Xiaobing, deputy- general manager of Dongfang Electric (Tianjin) Wind Power Technology Co, a turbine-making unit under DEC.