News roundup: PTC a success story, clean energy grows globally, Arizona calls for more renewables

9 April 2014 by Peebles Squire Peebles Squire

It’s Wednesday, and there’s news of the PTC’s big returns for Americans, global investments in clean energy, and Arizona’s plan to boost its renewables profile.

The PTC is helping wind power provide affordable electricity while more than paying for itself:

  • In its “Outlook for Renewable Energy 2014,” the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), working in conjunction with U.S. renewable energy industry trade associations, presents facts and figures that clearly illustrate the triple-bottom-line benefits and advantages the U.S. wind energy industry brings to American society, and how the renewable energy PTC has played a seminal role in spurring them on to realization.
  • In many parts of the U.S., wind energy is now the cheapest form of electricity generation – cheaper than natural gas and even coal, NextEra chief financial officer Moray P. Dewhurst recently stated on an earnings call.
  • Overall wind energy costs have fallen 43 percent in four years. Driven by advances in technology and stable, supportive policy, wind has been set on a pace to supply 20 percent of U.S. power grid needs by 2030, ACORE continues in its latest annual outlook for the U.S. renewable energy industry.
  • Moreover, the wind energy PTC attracted $25 billion in private sector investment in one year – 17 times the current annual value of the tax credit, ACORE highlights.

Global investment in clean energy continues to show promise, as improvements in cost and efficiency can drive big returns:

  • Renewable energy is generating a greater share of the world’s electricity than ever before, as costs fall and profitability rises, according to a report released Monday.
  • Countries don't need to invest as much money in green technology to get returns, according to the report, Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2014, by the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Center for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance, UNEP and Bloomberg New Energy Finance…
  • Governments should be "doubling down on clean energy not just for its environmental benefits, which are urgently needed, but also for the economic development," [NRDC’s Nathanael] Greene said. "The countries that win the clean energy race will control the future."

Arizona is planning ahead, factoring more clean energy and efficiency measures into their predictions for the future:

  • [Tucson Electric Power] filed with regulators its 2014 Integrated Resource Plan, which describes how the utility intends to meet energy demand requirements through 2028. According to current projections, the company expects to add more than 50,000 customers over the next 10 years, and peak demand is projected to grow annually by about 1% to 1.5%.
  • The utility plans to further diversify its portfolio through continued investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. By 2028, TEP anticipates that its combined solar, wind and biogas resource capacity will increase from 157 MW today to 788 MW - enough energy to power approximately 136,000 homes. TEP says it also plans to reduce its need for new generating resources through a range of energy-efficiency programs that will result in a cumulative capacity reduction of 312 MW, which is equivalent to the annual electric energy use of approximately 167,000 homes.
  • Overall, TEP projects that its resource portfolio by 2028 will consist of 43% coal-fired generation and 36% natural gas-fired resources. The remaining 21% will be made up of renewable energy and energy efficiency resources.

Be sure to check out all of this week’s roundups:

Sources:

Andrew Burger. “Wind Power Is Reducing Electricity Rates; Pays Back Tax Credit 17 Times Over.” Triple Pundit. 7 April 2014.

Renee Lewis, “Study: Green energy drawing investment worldwide.” Al Jazeera America. 7 April 2014.

Staff, “Arizona Utility's Long-Term Plan Calls For More Renewable Energy, Less Coal.” North American Windpower. 8 April 2014.