One of the effects of the financial turmoil has been the delay of numerous renewable energy projects that involve capex — turbines, windmills, large solar arrays. The latest is Spokane-based Avista Corp (http://www.avistacorp.com/), which raised $200 million and then decided that wind turbines were too costly, as opposed to other forms of renewables. As reported in earth2tech (GigaOM Network) http://earth2tech.com/2008/12/02/avista-stalls-its-wind-power-plans/, Avista’s announcement follows the higher-profile postponement by Boone Pickens, and a series of European delays. Pickens was looking to build 4 gigawatts, and Avista was planning a much smaller, 50-megawatt wind farm.
Cascadia Capital, Seattle-based investment bank (http://www.cascadiacapital.com/), says the longrange prospects for these renewables are still good, but says many utilities and energy suppliers are taking a wait-and-see attitude in the current financial environment. No matter how you look at it, it means more carbon in the atmosphere.
It also points out the crying need for grid upgrades in the North American electrical system, and focuses on projects like NYSERDA’s work with Gaia Power Technologies (http://www.gaiapowertechnologies.com/utilities.html), using inexpensive, dependable battery systems such as the highly recyclable advanced lead-acid and PbC batteries made by Axion Power International* (http://www.axionpower.com).