US Wind Power Crashes in 2013 After Soaring in 2012
Last year, developers installed 13.1 GW of wind capacity, surpassing natural gas plants for the first time to become the largest source of new U.S. electricity. However, 2013 saw a complete turnaround as wind farm construction slowed to a trickle after a federal tax credit expired at the end of 2012. Only 70 megawatts of wind farms were connected to the grid in the third quarter- a 96 percent decline from a year earlier, says the American Wind Energy Association.
Solar Comeback Beating Dot-com Recovery as Demand Picks Up
Solar equipment makers are rebounding from a two-year slump faster than technology companies recovered from the dot-com crisis of the late 1990’s. Suppliers including California’s SunPower Corp., which has gained more than fivefold this year, and China’s Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. are leading the way as panel prices stabilize. $205 billion worth of investments was poured into renewable-energy projects in the past year, soaking up some of the global oversupply of panels. The recovery is anticipated to continue in 2014 says Jenny Chase, lead solar analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Suncor Partners with Teck and Total for $12.9 Billion Oil Sands Project
Suncor, Canada’s biggest energy company by market value will be venturing with Total SA and Teck Resources Ltd. for a C$13.5 billion ($12.9 billion) oil project in Fort Hills. The group will begin producing in 2017, estimated to give an output of 180,000 barrels of crude per day. The approval comes after CEO Steve Williams earlier canceled another venture with Total in an attempt to reduce costs and boost profitability. Fort Hills, has 3.3 billion barrels of reserves and will produce oil for about 50 years, says Suncor.
Tesla Scores in Virginia as DMV Allow Dealership
Tesla Motors has achieved another victory in its fight to sell directly to customers as the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has given Tesla the go-ahead to apply for a dealership license in the state. Previous to the decision, Tesla has been denied the ability to operate its own dealership in the state. The turnaround appears to have been the result of various concessions offered by the electric car company. While there are still further steps to be taken, the recent decision by the DMV has indeed given the California-based car maker something to cheer about.