15 Comments

Summary:

London-based oil giant BP has changed its renewable energy tune, moving its investments in wind to the more favorable U.S. onshore market, and dropping plans for wind developments in the UK, China, India and Turkey.

London-based oil giant BP has changed its renewable energy tune, moving its investments in wind to the more favorable U.S. onshore market, and dropping plans for wind developments in the UK, China, India and Turkey.

“It’s a big place and it’s got a lot of wind,” Robert Wine, spokesman for BP, told us. Wine said there are also existing regulatory frameworks in the U.S. that are helpful, both to boost development and to provide incentives.

Tax credits for renewable energy, which were set to expire at the end of this year, were extended in October as part of the government’s bailout bill for Wall Street. President-elect Barack Obama, meanwhile, has pledged to invest $150 billion in alternative energy over the next decade.

Wine said BP’s decision to concentrate its wind plans on the U.S. market hasn’t affected the company’s other renewable initiatives, among them solar, biofuel and other projects, in the UK or elsewhere. But the UK could be hit hardest by the wind news, as the region is aiming to supply a third of its electricity from wind by 2020. That target has already been criticized as likely being unachievable, according a recent investigation in The Observer.

And this is the second blow to the UK wind market by an oil giant. In May, Netherland’s Royal Dutch Shell announced that it would pull out of the massive London Array project, expected to be the largest offshore wind farm in the world when it’s built.

BP had planning permission for an onshore wind farm on the Isle of Grain in the UK, which it is no longer going forward with, and Wine said the company has no plans to bid for any offshore licenses in the region.

The U.S. has the largest potential wind market in the world, with the industry on track to install a total of 7,500 megawatts this year, up from 5,249 in 2007, according to the American Wind Energy Association. BP is already a significant investor in U.S. wind; its portfolio includies the opportunity to develop about 100 projects with a potential total generating capacity of 15,000 MW.

“By the end of this year, we should have about 1 GW of wind farms installed capacity, and three times that within a couple of years,” said Wine.

In China, BP has dropped out of a partnership with Goldwind Science & Technology, according to Reuters. The companies were planning to build a wind power project in Inner Mongolia. That project and BP’s plans for Turkey never made it past the early discussion stage, according to Wine.

  1. [...] decision, notes the Guardian newspaper, is a major blow to the prime minister, Gordon Brown, who has promised to eliminate all [...]

    Share
  2. Glad to see wind turning around in my country, but shame about the UK. Aren’t their other investors that can step in?

    Share
  3. um…that would be ‘there’ not ‘their’…haven’t had my coffee yet apparently.

    Share
  4. [...] London-based oil giant BP has announced that it has scrapped all plans to build wind farms and other renewable energy projects in Britain to concentrate on the US market instead. Said BP Spokesman Robert Wine, via Earth2Tech: [...]

    Share
  5. I’m very happy to see more windfarms in the states. We use an enormous amount of energy and it is time some of it comes from renewable sources.

    Share
  6. Fantastic! Wind turbines are so much prettier thank “clean” coal plants.

    Share
  7. [...] announcements are a big boost for the UK wind market, which suffered a blow last week when London-based oil firm BP said it was shifting its wind investments to the U.S., pulling out of [...]

    Share
  8. Someone with the knowledge and wherewithall should track BP’s US wind turbine projects to determine how much they suck out of American tax payers’ pockets via the US Federal Energy Tax Credits. The size of the country, and the increased amount of wind (?????) is a passable excuse for them to pull out of England – but the real reason they’re coming her wouldn’t have anything to do with those IMMENSE (LUCRATIVE AND MARKETABLE) TAX CREDITS – WOULD IT? OR THE FACT THAT THESE THINGS are killing millions of birds & bats, continually; are not resulting in any coal plants being shut down because when the wind stops, or is blowing too slow, or is blowing too fast – the units are not producing electricity; or the fact that no one (with any sense) wants these monstrosities ruining their view. They’re not “farms” – they are industrial FACTORIES; by proxy – most are being financed by robber barons; they’re noisy; they create an outdoor strobe effect with the sunlight behind them. Brush control beneath them is very often controlled with toxic (albeit within approved limits – MAYBE) chemicals which will leach into ground water, streams, and rivers, aquafiers, municipal water intake valves, etc. Many of the fat cats behind these attacks on Mother Nature, and common sense – own huge estates of hundreds & thousands of acres … but no wind turbine FACTORIES in sight !!!! Someone should try to buy up the land near one of them – and announce plans to put up turbines there … just to see the reaction. The Federal Tax Credit legislation needs to be changed to require that before credits can be issued – these factories have to PROVE that for every watt they produced – a coal fired power plant was shut down, and not burning coal or operating – and thus not emitting greenhouse gases (ostensibly the prime reason the credits were set up for, wasn’t it?). They can’t do that though – because if they do shut down the coal plants – and the wind dies down … there’s going to be a crash of available current (because the coal plant isn’t able to jump right in and make up for the dip). BOTTOM LINE: They shouldn’t get multi-million dollar credits for 10 mw of wind turbine power (for example) – UNLESS an equivalent capacity coal plant is shut down (not just idled).
    Sound rediculous? THAT’S MY TAX DOLLARS TOO. When the Brits start paying those tax credits to BP for this smoke & mirrors scam … and put them in their own back yards & viewshed … I’ll shut up.

    Share
  9. [...] downs in the UK wind industry recently, with the revelation earlier this month that oil giant BP is pulling out of projects in the UK, China, India and Turkey, and moving its wind investments to the United [...]

    Share
  10. [...] downs in the UK wind industry recently, with the revelation earlier this month that oil giant BP is pulling out of projects in the UK, China, India and Turkey, and moving its wind investments to the United [...]

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post