The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

US Solar Projects Will Eclipse Wind This Year, Says Duke

US Solar Projects Will Eclipse Wind This Year, Says Duke

The U.S. will add more solar power in 2013 than wind energy for the first time as wind projects slump and cheap panels spur demand for photovoltaic systems, according to the head of Duke Energy Corp.'s renewable-energy development unit.

The U.S. may install 3 gigawatts to 4 gigawatts of wind turbines this year, and solar projects will probably exceed that, said Gregory Wolf, president of Duke Energy Renewables. The U.S. added 13.1 gigawatts of wind power last year, beating natural gas for the first time.

U.S. wind projects have come to a near-standstill this year on uncertainty over the fate of a federal tax credit that was set to expire Dec. 31. Wolf anticipates more solar projects going into operation in 2013 than wind farms after panel prices fell more than 60 percent in the last two years.

"I would expect a lot of momentum still on solar," Wolf said in an interview yesterday.

"We really ramped up our solar in 2010," said Wolf. "Today most of the projects are half or less of the cost now than then." Duke Renewables' portfolio of renewable-energy projects exceeds 1.7 gigawatts.

The production tax credit, which provides 2.2 cents a kilowatt-hour for electricity from wind farms, was extended for a year on Jan. 1. With little information about whether it would be renewed, developers raced to complete wind farms by the end of last year and didn't plan new ones.

The U.S. installed about 3.2 gigawatts of solar power last year and may reach 3.9 gigawatts this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Cheap panels and lower construction costs have been aided by policy support that "has been a little more consistent and long-term," Wolf said.

'Green Halo'

Duke invested more than its $500 million target in renewable energy last year, and more than $2.5 billion to date, Wolf said.

"We're not in this business just because we want a green halo for Duke," he said.

The largest U.S. utility owner by market value enters into long-term power purchase agreements for wind and solar plants that have "an attractive profile in terms of risk and returns," Wolf said. "If we find really good projects, we'll see if we can find a way to make them work."

Copyright 2013 Bloomberg

Lead image: US flag overlaid onto wind generators and solar panels , via Shutterstock



Three Chinese Solar Panel Groups Lose Exemption From EU Tariffs

Jonathan Stearns, Bloomberg

The European Union applied tariffs on three groups of Chinese solar-panel makers that have been exempted from the levies, potentially reviving tensions in the EU’s biggest trade case of its kind.

Stock graph

Green Bonds Sprout as Wall Street Embraces Renewable Energy Debt

Cordell Eddings, Bloomberg Bonds backing clean energy and other sustainable initiatives are booming. Investors are snapping up green bonds at the fastest pace on record, as big banks like Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp. pile in with new iss...
Loss and profit binders

Yingli May Return to Profitability in Second Half, CFO Says

Justin Doom, Bloomberg

Yingli Green Energy Holding Co., a Chinese solar manufacturer that hasn’t reported income in almost four years, may return to profitability in the second half, the chief financial officer said.

Students and solar powered cars with energy storage

Rain or Shine, Students Keep Their Solar Race Cars Going with Energy Storage

Wayne Hicks, NREL Teegan and Kira Cordova love the original Star Trek TV series. That much is obvious. The eighth-grade twins from Ken Caryl Middle School in Littleton are wearing the uniform tunics from the 1960s show — Teegan's in red and...


Volume 18, Issue 3


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:



PV-301: Advanced PV Design & Installation

This highly desirable and advanced course is intended for the profession...

PV-401: Advanced Field Training

Real world on the job solar installation, training, and experience is th...

PV-201: Introduction to PV Design & Installation

PV 201 Introduction to PV Design & Installation is simply the best i...


Up to Bat – Why More Solar Companies Are Thinking Seriously About A...

Given the growth of the solar industry in the U.S., with 2014 year-...

How to Reduce Soft Costs With a Critical Path Map

For solar installers, soft costs are a fact of life. However, they don&r...

Community Solar Solutions Appeal to Eco-Conscious Millennials

Tech savvy and convenience oriented, the millennial generation is the mo...


Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now