In this upcoming issue themed “Managing with Uncertainty Fatigue,” ScottMadden will offer insight on solar and wind developments in light of persistent low natural gas prices, waning policy support in Europe, and uncertainty in the United States. After a ramp-up of development through global stimulus efforts, the renewables sector is at an inflection point as government supports are reduced. Despite these headwinds, declining technology costs due to learning curve effects and approaching compliance dates for many state renewable portfolio standards may help buoy demand for solar and wind projects.
Wind development had a strong year in 2011, but it was well below megawatt installations in 2008 and 2009. Installations for 2012 are projected to be greater than 2009, but they are dropping off considerably in 2013 due to the current production tax credit (PTC) extension stalemate in Washington. With natural gas prices projected to remain extremely low for the foreseeable future, wind is unable to compete directly with spot market prices in most markets, especially those that are heavily reliant on gas for power generation.
“The fate of U.S. renewable policy support, which likely won’t be clear until after the November election, and the current abundance of shale gas are hanging over the market," says Jake Jacobi, clean tech practice leader at ScottMadden. “If the PTC is extended and natural gas prices unexpectedly rebound, as we think they may, the outlook brightens considerably.”
For more than a decade, the ScottMadden Energy Industry Update has served as a catalyst for strategic discussion, debate, and decisions. Thousands of industry leaders rely on it for the most important trends and thought-provoking insights. Click to download the prior issue, the November - 2011 ScottMadden Energy Industry Update. The new issue will be available soon.
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