On the Radio: Wind Energy Report

Photo by lamoix; Flickr


This week’s On the Radio segment covers wind energy in Iowa, and the incentives that are soon to expire. Listen to the audio below, or continue reading for the transcript.

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On the Radio: Presidential candidates torn over wind energy tax credits

A wind farm in Iowa. Photo by jenpilot, Flickr.

Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This week’s episode discusses the potential effects of the upcoming presidential election on the wind energy industry.

The 2012 presidential election may greatly impact the future of wind energy in our country.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

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Clipper Windpower lays off 174 employees

Photo by cannellfan, Flickr.

Officials with Clipper Windpower confirmed Monday that layoffs will remove 174 positions from the wind energy company, including as many as 75 from a plant in Cedar Rapids.

Clipper Windpower Human Resources Manager Christina Stowell e-mailed the following statement to The Gazette confirming the layoffs.

“In response to continued challenges facing our industry and our company, Clipper management has been working on developing a sustainable business model with an emphasis on its service business. The effort requires a downsizing and refocusing of our operations, reducing the company’s total workforce from 550 employees to 376.”

Wind power enthusiasts in Iowa cite Clipper’s recent sale by United Technologies to Platinum Equity of California as the cause for the layoffs, but wind energy tax credits that are set to expire at the end of 2012 may have also been a factor.

For more information, read the full article at The Gazette.

Geothermal tax credit aims to diversify Iowa’s renewable energy sources

Geothermal pipe installation. Photo by CSLP, Flickr.

A bill was signed into law this spring that seeks to diversify Iowa’s renewable energy sources by providing a first-ever tax credit for geothermal projects in the state.

Iowa is already a national leader in wind energy, and geothermal installers say this new bill is already helping to increase demand for geothermal energy as well.

“Most [customers] already know that they want geothermal,” said Reed Carlson, who co-founded Geothermal EcoOptions in Decorah, Iowa. “Now they see it and say ‘I can afford to do it.’”

Geothermal systems work by pumping fluid through a system of undeground pipes deep below the surface, where the temperature hovers between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit year round. The process mitigates the temperature of the fluid, allowing the system to pump cool water to the surface during the summer, and warm fluid in the winter.

For more information, read the full article from Midwest Energy News.

New tax credit make solar a better investment for Iowans

Photo by rob.rudloff, Flickr.

Energy companies and lawmakers say a new tax credit will make the installation of solar energy systems on homes and businesses an affordable investment.

“A lot of people have been looking at solar energy systems and now, with the state tax credits, they’re starting to move forward,” Brad Duggan, energy efficiency project manager at Van Meter Inc. in Cedar Rapids said Tuesday. “It makes solar ripe for the residential use. I think it will push the market.”

The credit, which was signed into law by Gov. Terry Branstad last week, provides state tax credits for solar electric, solar hot water, and geothermal energy systems – allowing homeowners credits of up to $3,000 per project, and $15,000 for businesses.

For more information, read the full article at The Gazette.