In the Pipeline: 1/25/2011



Themarket has spoken: wind installations were down 50% in 2010. The reason? AWEAsays uncertainty about long-term federal support of wind industry. AWEA(1/24/11) reports: New wind powered generating capacity installed in 2010 inthe US was roughly half that installed in 2009, but there is a fairly robustpipeline of new capacity currently under construction, the American Wind EnergyAssociation said Monday… AWEA attributed the falloffto uncertainty about long term federal policies in support of wind…Developersinstalled 5,115 MW of new wind powered generating capacity last year, comparedwith approximately 10,000 MW installed in the record year of 2009, and 8,500 MWin 2008, AWEA said in its new report.

Windtoo risky? Goldman Sachs says buy solar. Those government contracts and grantsmust have been approved.Bloomberg(1/24/11) reports: Solar-panel makers will avoid a “hard landing” in 2011 andforecast that the industry will expand by 13 percent, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.said…The New York-based bank recommended investors buy shares of First SolarInc., SMA Solar Technology AG and GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd. because themarket is priced for a decline in demand this year, according to a researchnote published today…The increase in demand for photovoltaic generators will bedriven by declines in the prices of panels, government targets for clean powerand companies installing panels, Goldman analysts led by Mark Wienkes said inthe report.


Stillnot buying? Probably a good bet since China plans on reducing exports of rareearth metals used for wind and solar development.Bloomberg(1/25/11) reports: Inner Mongolia, which contains 75 percent of China’s rareearth deposits, said in Sept. 2009 that the province is considering building astrategic reserve on behalf of the central government. China cut its quota forrare earth exports by 35 percent in the first half this year to reducepollution and arrest a decline in domestic reserves…Inner Mongolia Baotou SteelRare Earth Hi-Tech Co. and other Chinese companies are preparing to stockpilesupplies from as early as 2011, Nikkei English News said on Oct. 28. InnerMongolia Baotou may invest as much as 3 billion yuan ($455 million) over afive-year period in reserves, the report said.


Thebeatings will continue until morale improves; Sen. Reid announces that energywill be his top priority this session.TheHill (1/24/11) reports: The introduction of theplaceholder bill indicates that energy will have a significant place in thisyear’s policy debate in the chamber, despite last year’s failed attempt to passa climate bill in the Senate. All the major players from last year’s climatetalks – Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) andLindsey Graham (R-S.C.) – say they want to be involved in this year’senergy debate…Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman JeffBingaman (D-N.M.), whose committee has jurisdiction over the issue, will be aco-sponsor of the placeholder legislation.


The“show me” state wants to know why they are paying more for the same amount ofenergy.KansasCity (1/24/11) reports: Depending on whom you believe,state lawmakers are about to slap Missouri voters in the face — or robthem blind…The Missouri Senate is poised to debate a resolution this week thatwould determine how and where certain utility companies can buy wind and solarpower. Jeff Davis was one of two commissioners, both Republicans, to voteagainst the new rule. He said that Missouri renewable energy companies weretrying to “stick up” consumers by forcing them to pay higher rates for theirproduct…“What you are witnessing here is an attempted train robbery ofconsumers,” Davis told a House committee that passed the resolution 8-3 onWednesday. “It will give the wind industry carte blanche to charge what theywant to.”


Sen.John Barrasso read IER’s Dan Kish’s editorial and calls out the NationalCommission on BP Oil Spill as a sham.TheHill (1/25/11) reports: The criticism Monday from Sen.John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) — the vice-chairman of the Senate RepublicanConference — comes two days before the leaders of the National Commissionon the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling will appear at apair of Capitol Hill hearings….“They weren’t experts. They weren’t experts onoil drilling, on the Gulf,” Barrasso said of the seven-member commission. “It wasa self-selected group that really opposes drilling in the Gulf, and they cameout with the recommendations that you would expect that group of people to comeup with. And those are all things that are going to make energy moreexpensive.”


Circulationof Elites: Carol Browner is heading for the exit after failing to cause energyprices to skyrocket with cap and tax. WallStreet Journal (1/25/11) reports: Carol Browner is leaving herposition as White House "energy czar," and a staff shake-up is likelyto eliminate her post altogether, according to Democrats familiar withevents…The czar position, and Ms. Browner herself, have been lightning rods forcritics of the president’s environmental-policy agenda and a reassurance to itssupporters, who liked having a top official in the White House devoted to theirpriorities… Ms. Browner led the administration’s effort to gather votes inCongress for legislation to limit emissions of greenhouse gases. The effortunraveled in the Senate last year, amid opposition from Republicans and someDemocrats fearful of its impact on energy prices and jobs.






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