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View Diary: Open Thread for Night Owls: LeVine—Will unconventional oil abundance kill clean-tech? (159 comments)

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  •  About Clean Tech, From One in the Industry (0+ / 0-)

    I'm a partner in a US firm that manufactures mid-scale (100–1000kW) wind turbines in the US (by that I mean owned here, sourced here, assembled here, and taxed here). We've received no government support (federal or state), despite all the lip service from Mr. Obama, Mr. Chu, and our governor. (When Mr. Obama went to a wind turbine plant to tout clean tech last year, he went to a Gamesa plant in Pennsylvania. Gamesa is a Spanish company, one that receives enormous government and state-backed bank funding. The same is true with Chinese and Indian manufacturers.)

    "Free market" my ass.

    The government subsidy "boondoggle" those opposed to our technology keep claiming is bullshit: The 1603 ITC grant expired last year, and the ITC and PTC tax credits expire this year. Please understand that those "boondoggles" only amount to 30% of project costs (ITC), and an even smaller percentage of production (PTC), and they are tax credits, not loans, guarantees, etc.

    Of course, the billions in "necessary aid" to the fossil fuel industry continue unabated, even as they post record profits.

    The result?

    Layoffs are already starting in our industry, and large foreign manufacturers (Vestas and Mitsubishi) that were planning to locate plants here have either pulled the plug on their plans or are hesitating thanks to what they call "nonexistent American commitment to green technology" and "regulatory instability."

    To further complicate things, a teabagger-style hysteria has arisen around the "health effects" of wind turbines, even though no peer reviewed, properly sampled studies have shown there are any (http://1.usa.gov/... http://bit.ly/...).

    So the picture's grim, as the number of Canadian and domestic projects has fallen off sharply, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

    We're finding great success, however, in selling overseas. Our OUSA (internally, FUSA) strategy has allowed us to sell all over the world, and instead of one or two turbines at a time, it has been tens and hundreds for us. We now have a pipeline of orders that will carry us into 2014.

    So while the US chases the chimerical "unconventional oil" unicorn and fracks its way into aquifer disaster, we're selling and installing turbines all over Asia, Africa, South America, and even in the EU, where the people and their governments seem to "get" that an energy future doesn't rely on a finite resource, one that is going to shock only the unprepared by how short its supply really is.

    “In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.” ~ H. L. Mencken

    by skeezixwolfnagle on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 05:09:08 AM PDT

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