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Archive for Monday, April 13, 2009

Texas remains king of wind power

April 13, 2009

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— Texas continues to blow away the competition, but Iowa can now generate more wind power than California, according to a new industry report to be released today.

The Lone Star state’s 7,118 megawatts dwarfs Iowa’s 2,791 megawatts and California’s 2,517 megawatts, but wind power has grown into a key part of the energy infrastructure in Minnesota and Iowa, where each state generates more than 7 percent of its electricity from turbines, the American Wind Energy Association study said.

States are trying to lure wind energy companies and the jobs that come with them, especially with new federal requirements that will require more power from alternative sources in coming years.

While jobs in the wind industry jumped by 70 percent to 85,000 last year, the association’s chief executive warned that more must be done to prevent the industry from stalling.

“We need the right policies in place for our industry to maintain its momentum,” said Denise Bode in a release.

The passage of a national Renewable Electricity Standard that would require utilities to generate a quarter of their electricity from renewable energy by 2025 is vital to long-term growth, said Bode.

Global investment in alternative energy was cut in half during the first quarter of 2009, according to one study. Billions in investments have vanished with the recession.

Shares in wind, solar and geothermal companies took a pummeling from investors this year. Investments in companies devoted solely to clean energy fell to about $100 million from $2.1 billion, according to New Energy Finance, an industry-research firm.

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