Friday, July 12

Alternative energy holds in a cheap fuel world flows.

| By Bruce Kennedy, MSN Money

Even as U.S. oil and gas output is increasing, many companies are aggressively investing in renewable power-especially in wind-in an effort to diversify.

The United States are at an economic and cultural crossroads, when it comes to energy. In the span of a generation, the idea of capturing power from sources other than fossil fuels or nuclear energy of utopian nonsense has gone, up to far in the national power grid.

But now the country is produced also fossil fuels at prices which do not seen that in years of the alternative energy sector in a familiar Bindung--because if fossil fuel prices fall, interest in alternative tends to dry out.

However, the progress is remarkable. According to the national renewable energy laboratory (NREL) in Colorado, renewable energy such as wind, solar, bio-fuels and alternative sources currently accounts for 12% of total US energy supply and 13% of all power generated. In some parts of the country has renewable energy sources commercially with conventional oil and gas production more competitive.

While this means that the United States its dependence on fossil fuels at all times will end soon, does it, we have a variety of energy sources.

Wind, generated for example 4.5% of energy in the USA-compared to about 1% or less five years ago. Last year, a record has been installed by more than 13,000 megawatts of wind generated energy capacity. This is still a modest number, given that 1 MW can power only several hundred houses and the United States have a total power generation capacity of more than 1 million MW. But experts say that it is a good start.

"We have more (wind) installed as the Chinese last year", said Jeffrey Logan, senior energy analyst at NREL, MSN Money. "And a very large supply-chain infrastructure were now in the United States, this kind of production and provide support."

Giving to wind energy further momentum, early June Secretary of The interior Sally Jewell, together with the Director of the Bureau of ocean energy management, announced the Government will auction of leases for offshore wind farms along the 9 nautical miles from Rhode Iceland and Massachusetts that roll in New England an area around. This will be developed the first offshore wind energy project in the United States and more than 3,400 MW-enough to make more than 1 million homes could produce.

Solar energy remains a distant second wind and production notes accounts for less than 1% of the electricity in the United States but Logan, there is also progress to record, with just over 3,000 MW solar photovoltaic (p.v..) installed in the year 2012.

Many traditional energy companies and other companies recognize that diversified need for renewable energy sources and invest aggressively.

General Electric (GE), for example, among the world's leading manufacturers of wind turbines and a major player in solar energy research and development. And while European and Chinese firms dominate like Siemens (SI) and Yingli (YGE) are also looking to wind and solar, Logan says that America has still an innovation edge. "The United States is a leading everyone in the world in the so-called thin-film photovoltaics has", he notes. "These technologies have the opportunity, at much lower cost than traditional silicon-based p.v.. manufactured"

Utilities to invest in renewable energy. Xcel Energy(XEL), the power supplies in eight Central and Western States operated three wind farms produce 4,900 MW to the system at the end of last year. A day-end of 2011 world record Xcel for electricity generated from wind power, as nearly 56% of juice consumed by 1 million customers in Colorado from wind farms came.

But utilities see also renewable energy as a future threat to their traditional business models, especially, when more and more consumers declare their own energy independence and start the installation by own solar panels or wind turbines. And while hard now for renewable energies, to compete against the current oil shale boom, they keep it some strong advantages.

"The public in this whole thing," said Logan, "is that we can be sure that we have a varied and diversified according to risk group of energies, we in future to leave can." That helps us no matter what the climate for the economy or the shale revolution or whatever happens."

This article is part of an MSN Money special report on America's quest for energy independence. Next: 10 strange energy sources, which could change the world.

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