Wind and Solar Installations Soar as Production Tax Credit Winds Down

 

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It has been another banner year for the wind and solar industries. Wind capacity additions for 2012 will hit a record high (near 12 GW) as total installed capacity hit 50 GW in August. Additionally, the Solar Energy Industries Association forecasts that 3.2 GW of solar will be installed in 2012.  All of these additions, however, may be the grand finale of a spectacular 10 year run for the renewable power industry.

This is due to the expiration at year’s end of the Production Tax Credit (PTC). According to a recent article in AOL Energy, the last three times the PTC has expired installation rates plunged 94%.

Leaving the politics of whether or not the PTC should or should not be renewed, we can all agree that a significant amount of renewables will be coming online in the next few months. Even with the end of the PTC states with renewable 29 states, Washington D.C., and two U.S. territories renewable portfolio standards (RPS) and another eight states and two territories have renewable goals. This means there will still be lots of renewables coming down the pike.

This large increase in variable generation continues to present challenges to system operators especially during windy nights when load is low. Operators must be prepared to meet their schedules and remain in balance 24/7/365.

Is your organization ready to integrate more variable generation? GridSME’s experts are experienced in system integration and optimization. Give us a call – maybe we can help.