Nov 3, 2017

Some perspective on wind and EVs

The long-awaited House GOP tax package unveiled yesterday got the energy world buzzing, as it would end a $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicle purchases, thereby raising the costs for prospective buyers. It would also pare back the value of the wind energy production tax credit, and tighten the definition of what constitutes an "under construction" project eligible. The changes would raise an estimated $12.3 billion over a decade.

The American Wind Energy Association, wind industry's main trade group, said lowering the value of the credit from 2.3 cents per kilowatt hour to 1.5 cents would put over $50 billion in planned investments at risk.

Data: Lazard's Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis, November 2017; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Yes, but: Changes to the decades-old tax credit aren't the existential threat to the wind industry that they once were, thanks to the drop in technology costs over the years. The chart above is from the new Lazard report on electricity generation costs that we looked at yesterday.

Quick take on EVs: Turning to the proposal to nix the electric vehicle credit, my Axios colleague and EV expert Steve LeVine passed along some thoughts about whether the change will truly hurt the emerging sector:

  • "A contrarian view would be that the credit was always capped at 200,000 cars per brand, so the carmakers were always going to have to stand on their own at some point, something Musk has said about Tesla repeatedly. In that vein, for incumbents, this only accelerates. For newcomers, though, it presents a bar to entry."

Go deeper

Denmark generated almost half of its electricity from wind in 2019

Wind turbines in the Baltic Sea. Photo: Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

Wind power accounted for a record 47% of the electricity consumed in Denmark in 2019, up from 41% in 2018 and 43% in 2017, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The country’s grid operator Energinet said Thursday that cost reductions and improved offshore turbines contributed to the boost.

Go deeperArrowJan 2, 2020

Despite Trump, Congress boosts clean energy funding

Congress is set to pass a budget doubling down on a years-long trend of increasing clean-energy funding, despite President Trump's repeated attempts to cut spending.

Driving the news: The spending bill the House passed on Tuesday would increase energy research spending nearly 14% compared to this year’s levels and more than 50% compared to 2014.

Go deeperArrowDec 18, 2019

The decade that blew up energy predictions

Illustration: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

America’s energy sources, like booming oil and crumbling coal, have defied projections and historical precedents over the last decade.

Why it matters: It shows how change can happen rapidly and unexpectedly, even in an industry known to move gradually and predictably. With a new decade upon us, let’s look back at the last one’s biggest, most surprising energy changes.

Go deeperArrowDec 23, 2019