USA: Consolidation of a Renewables Industry?
In the last chapter I discussed the birth of the renewables deployment programme in the USA, and its significance for the wind power industry, which consisted of the developments in California in the 1970s and 1980s. Indeed, as Paul Gipe has emphasised (personal communication, 27 September 2009): ‘The myth of California being a renewable mecca is 25 years old and that the state has been living on its laurels ever since.’ In fact, as we shall see as I continue the California story up to the present day, California is losing the renewable development lead, and there are some question marks over the plausibility of some aspects of the current strategy. It follows from this that other (currently) leading states where renewable development has been gaining pace deserve closer attention. Hence, attention will be focused on those four states that were, at the end of September 2009, leading in terms of installed wind power capacity. These includes California, but also Texas (in the lead), Iowa and Minnesota.Nevertheless, California, by dint of its considerable generation of electricity from geothermal and biomass as well as wind, is still roughly on a par with the generation of electricity from renewables (mostly wind) in Texas. California is also important as a key battleground over renewables incentives structures, and thus considerable attention is given to the state in this chapter.
KeywordsRenewable Energy Wind Power Ecological Modernisation Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Renewable Portfolio Standard
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