Wind Energy Weekly: Vol 15, #699, May1996


The following is the electronic edition of WIND ENERGY WEEKLY, Vol. 15, #699, 27 May 1996, published by the American Wind Energy Association. The full text of the WEEKLY is available in hardcopy form for $595/year and is recommended for those with a serious commercial interest in wind (the electronic edition contains only excerpts). A monthly hardcopy publication, the WINDLETTER, more suitable for those interested in residential wind systems is included with a $50/year individual membership in the Association. AWEA's goal is to promote wind energy as a clean and environmentally superior source of electricity. Anyone sharing this goal is invited to become a member--please help!. For more information on the Association, contact AWEA, 122 C Street, NW, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20001, USA, phone (202) 383-2500, fax (202) 383-2505, email Or visit our World Wide Web site at


EIA: Demand to rise 50% by 2015 worldwide


Continued growth in world oil consumption, from 69 to 99 million barrels per day, will be one of the major features of 50% increase in overall world energy demand over the next 20 years, according to a report released May 16 by the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA). The INTERNATIONAL ENERGY OUTLOOK 1996 projects "sufficient oil supply to meet anticipated growth in demand with a moderate rise in world prices."

The OUTLOOK also projects a 54% jump in global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) over the same period, a fact which AWEA Director of Communications Tom Gray said "underscores more clearly than ever the urgent need to develop clean, renewable energy technologies such as wind."

"We need to take decisive action, now, to begin the transition away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy sources," Gray said. "A little reading between the lines of the EIA report tells us pretty clearly what will happen if we do not:

AWEA called on federal and state legislators and regulators to support and enlarge current programs that encourage renewables such as:

(1) Federal programs within the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and other agencies that help American wind companies compete in the international market, where other governments work closely with their domestic industries to promote export sales.

(2) The Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS), which would allow states to preserve a modest market for renewables in the face of utility industry restructuring by requiring power suppliers to obtain some minimum percentage of their electricity from renewable resources.

(3) The federal wind energy research program, which is aimed at building lighter, more cost-effective wind turbines and which also provides cost-shared funding for utilities that install and operate wind power plants. (The House Budget Committee has recently called for the elimination of this program, which costs the average American taxpayer about 20 cents a year.)

"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see why the U.S. should get behind renewables today," Gray said. "Simply stated, our future competitiveness, energy security, and environment depend on a common-sense energy policy that promotes clean domestic energy sources."

Demand for natural gas is expected to grow faster than any other fuel, according to the OUTLOOK. Gas's share of total world energy consumption is expected to increase by 3 percentage points over the projection period, to 25%.

The OUTLOOK's demand projections are substantially increased over last year's forecast. Total world energy consumption is expected to reach 495 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) by 2010, about 5% higher than projections from the 1995 report. The increase reflects stronger expectations for economic growth in developing nations, which in turn creates increased use of energy for electric power generation and for personal transportation.

Forecast highlights include:


As the WEEKLY went to press, reports that Kenetech Windpower has made a significant number of layoffs and may file for bankruptcy protection were circulating among members of the wind industry and the financial community.

Although sources at Kenetech were not available for comment, several industry insiders reported that Kenetech employees had been called to a meeting by new president Steve Kern and told that massive layoffs would be taking place. Most of these layoffs were to occur last week. According to one industry source, owners of Kenetech bonds have hired a bankruptcy counsel, as has Kenetech, and the two lawyers will be meeting over the next few weeks to hash out details of a possible bankruptcy filing. The crucial date for Kenetech is June 15, when its next interest payment on $100 million worth of bonds is due.


Northern Alternative Energy, Inc. (NAE) installed a 600-kW Micon turbine at the Sibley Wind Farm near Sibley, Iowa, last week--one of the largest single turbine installations in the U.S. The turbine began producing power on May 21 for purchase by IES Utilities, Inc., of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Standing 67.5 meters (221.4 feet) high, the turbine is a prominent sight. "On one of the highest points in Iowa, the Micon 600 is quite a feature on the Iowa landscape," said NAE principal Greg Jaunich. "It is visible from 20 miles in all directions."

The new installation augments the 325 kW of capacity already installed at the Sibley site. Five 65-kW WindMatic turbines were originally installed at the site in 1992 by Wind Ventures I, a partnership between NAE, Ecowind Development Corp., and an Iowa investor.

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