Wind energy is losing ground in VermontApril 15, 2015
State begins showing more favor for solar energy
Wind energy is losing steam in Vermont. In the past, wind energy had dominated much of the discussion concerning clean power in the state, with Vermont supporting various wind projects. Recently, however, solar energy has taken the limelight in the state, with the majority of new energy capacity being installed in Vermont in 2014 coming from the solar sector. In 2014, Vermont’s solar energy capacity doubled, according to information from the Solar Energy Industries Association.
Wind energy is facing significant challenges
There are several reasons why wind projects have begun losing support in the state. One of these reasons has to do with how long it can take to develop a wind energy project. Wind turbines are not easily constructed or installed, and the process of building a wind farm can take significantly more time than building a solar farm. Wind farms often face criticism from the public, as well, as some consider wind turbines to be visually unappealing.
Lack of funding is making it difficult for wind projects to take form
One of the more significant challenges that the wind sector is facing has to do with financial support. Though Vermont continues to place modest investments in the clean energy space, much of the wind sector had been supported by funds from the federal government, which had taken the form of the Production Tax Credit. There are federal initiatives that continue to provide some financial aid, but the Production Tax Credit no longer offers the financial backing that the wind sector needs. Without such backing, several wind projects must rely on private investors, who have become uncertain about the future of wind energy projects throughout the United States.
Solar energy may help Vermont meet sustainability goals
Solar energy may continue to gain momentum in Vermont, where wind power is becoming less important. The state may not have an abundant exposure to solar radiation, but solar power systems could still be quite useful for Vermont’s sustainability plans. If wind energy managed to find more financial support, it could also help the state accomplish its environmental goals, but a lack of reliable funding is making this unlikely.