Wind energy facing troubling futureJuly 18, 2013
Offshore wind energy continues to grow in Europe
Offshore wind energy has found a great deal of support in Europe, where many countries are exploiting their access to the ocean for the sake of energy production. According to a recent study from the European Wind Energy Association, the region accounts for a record number of installed offshore wind turbines during the first half of 2013. Many countries have opted to pursue offshore wind energy for economic reasons as the cost of fossil-fuels grows to a point where it can no longer be ignored.
More than 1GW of new capacity installed in first half of this year
Some 277 wind turbines across seven wind farms were installed throughout Europe during the first six months of the year. These turbines account for over 1 gigawatt of new energy capacity. Another 130 wind turbines have recently been installed throughout the region, but have not yet been connected to any existing energy grid. These new turbines represent the increasing efforts from European countries to embrace and make use of wind energy.
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Slow financing raises concerns among developers
While offshore wind energy has been growing in Europe, the European Wind Energy Association suggests that there may be some turbulence ahead for the sector. The organization suggests that the financing behind wind energy projects is beginning to slow significantly. This year, only one new project received the financing it needed. Moreover, politics could also be having a problematic impact on the wind energy sector as a whole.
Politics creates uncertainty in wind energy sector
Last week, Germany’s Nordex announced the closure of one of its wind turbine manufacturing facilities located in the U.S. The company closed the facility due to the uncertain nature of U.S. politics and the federal government’s support of wind energy. The country’s wind energy tax credit is cited as a major issue for the company. This tax credit helps finance wind energy projects throughout the U.S., but federal lawmakers have been divided on whether this tax credit should exist in the future or not. For now, the tax credit remains in place, but the uncertainty among lawmakers has made many wind energy businesses uncomfortable about their future prospects in the country.