31 Aug 2009:
Growth in Wind Power
Gets Boost From Change in Subsidies
Large banks, including Morgan Stanley and Citigroup, are making major investments in wind farms because a change in federal renewable energy subsidies is providing investors returns of up to 15 percent
, the Wall Street Journal
reports. The surge in investment has been spurred in part by a new
U.S. government policy, which now allows wind farm developers to receive 30 percent of the cost of the project upfront in cash, rather than receiving tax credits spread out over the life of the wind farm. Analysts said the new policy could mean that investment in wind farms will be $10 billion through 2010 — three times the amount initially projected by federal officials. The new investment could mean the installation in the next several years of 15 gigawatts of new wind power, half of the entire U.S. wind power capacity today. One limit to growth in wind power will be the ability of developers to sell the power, which costs more than electricity generated by coal-fired utilities. Officials say that setting state and federal requirements mandating renewable energy production could help overcome the higher cost of wind power.
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A look at how acidifying oceans could threaten the Dungeness crab, one of the most valuable fisheries on the U.S. West Coast. Watch the video.
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An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
An indigenous tribe’s deadly fight to save its ancestral land in the Amazon rainforest from logging. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
Residents of the Chocó Rainforest in Ecuador are choosing to plant cacao over logging in an effort to slow deforestation.
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Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.