In a newly published Flash Note, MAKE Consulting has increased its U.S. wind power outlook for the 2015-2017 period by 3.7 GW. The company says it issued the upgrade due to a surge in demand for wind power as key policies are set to expire.
According to the report, U.S. utilities are moving aggressively to lock in low power prices from production tax credit (PTC)-eligible wind projects ahead of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan.
At the same time, commercial and industrial (C&I) firms, such as Amazon, Procter and Gamble, and Hewlett Packard, are following Fortune 500 pioneers to secure direct long-term off-take agreements for wind power. MAKE says firms with targets to increase their procurement of renewable energy and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions will drive significant demand for new wind power capacity, as well as for solar power, through 2020.
Based on analysis of MAKE's wind project pipeline data, demand in 2015 is approaching levels that match the company's assumptions from the first quarter, resulting in an upgrade of the base wind power outlook.
MAKE says the state of federal politics in Washington, D.C., has evolved substantially in terms of a PTC extension. A surprise exit of former Speaker of the House John Boehner leaves new Speaker Paul Ryan leading a divided House Republican caucus through difficult negotiations over federal budget appropriations. MAKE expects substantial upside for wind power in the near term if Congress approves either a one-year or a two-year PTC extension.