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U.S. wind power slumps on low demand

Wind turbines at various stages of completion.

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: Groundbreaking is scheduled this morning on one of the largest wind power farms in the world. Terra-Gen Power is building a wind farm in the Mojave desert to generate power for more than a million people. From the Marketplace Sustainability desk, Adriene Hill has more.


Adriene Hill: Terra-Gen's been planning the $1.6 billion wind farm since 2005. VP Randy Hoyle says there've been regulatory and permit hurdles, and they've had to figure out how to get the power where it's needed.

Randy Hoyle: A lot of the places where the wind blows people do not live.

But new transmission lines are going up to get the electricity to Southern California homes by 2011. The project may be a bit of an outlier. A study out today from the American Wind Energy Association says investment in wind power nationally has slumped. One of the problems:

Matthew Kaplan: Demand.

Matthew Kaplan is with IHS Emerging Energy Research:

Kaplan: Power demand is down, natural gas prices are down and power pricing is down. And that's meant the demand for renewables is down.

Kaplan says that could change if Washington comes up with a renewable energy standard. But for now, it'll be state policy that gets turbines spinning.

I'm Adriene Hill for Marketplace.

About the author

Adriene Hill is a senior multimedia reporter for the Marketplace sustainability desk, with a focus on consumer issues and the individual relationship to sustainability and the environment.
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