News in Digest: Wind changes unfavourably in US – The Post

News in Digest: Wind changes unfavourably in US

Just six days after the Energy and Climate Ministry agreed a landmark deal in Washington DC, a Republican tax reform plan is doing its best to sink offshore wind energy into the sea

Excluding Alaska and Hawaii, the US has 5,000 miles of coastline and … five offshore wind parks (photo: Pixabay)
November 26th, 2017 6:00 pm| by Ben Hamilton

Rather like a walk on a blustery day in north Jutland, it has been a case of one step forward followed by two steps back in the US this past month.

Fair winds apparently
Initially the winds were blowing in Denmark’s favour when its energy and climate minister, Lars Christian Lilleholt, met with the US secretary of the interior, Ryan Zinke, in Washington DC on October 26 to formalise a new wind energy agreement between the two countries.

At present, there are just five offshore wind turbine parks along the entire US coast generating only 30 MW, and the co-operation will revolve around the exchange of experience and knowledge regarding how the US can expand its energy supply with more offshore wind turbines.

Lilleholt invited Zinke to visit Denmark next year to have a first-hand experience of Denmark’s experiences and solutions within offshore wind energy.

Enter a tornado
The US Department of Energy has estimated that 35 percent of US electricity will be produced by wind energy by 2050 – and one fifth of that will be from offshore wind energy. But for that to occur, investment of 400 billion US dollars is required.

And that might prove to be the sticking point, as on November 2, it was confirmed a Republican tax reform plan could include a phasing out of the production tax credit initiative adopted in 2015 and cut the amount of support being given to the wind turbine industry.

Talk about the wind suddenly changing direction.

Vestas’s sour Xmas gift
The new tax initiative would reduce the tax rebate by almost one-third to 15 dollars per magawatt-hour for projects started after 2 November 2017.

Unsurpsingly, Vestas’s share price promptly fell by 8 percent at the news. Last year, close to one-third of its order book came from the US, although the announcement of a new 1,200 MW project in Australia will quell its disappointment somewhat.

“We’re working on giving the American people a big tax rebate for Christmas,” said President Donald Trump as he revealed the details of the initiative at the White House.

App eyes huge US market
In other stateside news related to Denmark, the team behind the ‘Too Good To Go’ app, which reuses food destined for the dustbin, has set its sights set on the US market. Since its foundation in 2015, the app has saved 2 million portions of food from being thrown out.

New airline regulations will see stricter security controls carried out on passengers destined for the US, including a short interview, more checks and extra screening.

And finally, AmCham Denmark, has named US medical device firm Medtronic as its 2017 Foreign Company of the Year. Previous winners of the award include DuPont, Bayer and Roche.