On January 30, 2014, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) announced year-end statistics for 2013. The development pipeline ballooned to more than 17.2 GW of new capacity compared with just 1.1 GW added in all of 2013. This development pipeline includes more than 12 GW of capacity already under construction and 5.2 GW with signed PPAs that have not yet started construction.
The 12 GW of capacity under construction is significantly larger than the 5.1 GW reported earlier in January (see Production Tax Credit for Wind Energy Expires; Projects under Construction Remain Eligible). Renewable technologies typically have strong fourth quarters as developers work to meet year-end deadlines for tax credit eligibility. Our experience has been industry sources, such as AWEA, can be accurate and reliable sources for data early in the first quarter of each year.
This rush to get projects in the pipeline in 2013 is unusual since projects “under construction” (instead of placed in operation) will still qualify for the expiring PTC. ScottMadden expects these projects will be built and begin operation in a more gradual timeframe—2014 or 2015 in order to qualify for the production tax credit. The addition of this 17.2 GW of capacity will increase the U.S. wind fleet by 28% to approximately 78.3 GW of installed capacity.
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