Renewable Industry Sags Due To Credit Crisis

The New York Times reports that the renewable energy industry is hurting badly in this recession. Lack of available credit is the main reason, and while the stimulus bill may help, it will not be the solution.
February 9, 2009, 1pm PST | Irvin Dawid
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The installation of wind and solar power is plummeting in the U.S. due to the credit crisis and the broader economic downturn.

"Factories building parts for these industries have announced a wave of layoffs in recent weeks, and trade groups are projecting 30 to 50 percent declines this year in installation of new equipment, barring more help from the government.

Much of the problem stems from the credit crisis that has left Wall Street banks reeling. Once, as many as 18 big banks and financial institutions were willing to help finance installation of wind turbines and solar arrays, taking advantage of generous federal tax incentives. But with the banks in so much trouble, that number has dropped to four.

Wind and solar developers have been left starved for capital. "It's absolutely frozen," said Craig Mataczynski, president of Renewable Energy Systems Americas, a wind developer. He projected his company would build just under half as much this year as it did last year.

Renewable energy sources like biomass, which involves making electricity from wood chips, and geothermal, which harnesses underground heat for power, have also been slowed by the financial crisis, but the effects have been more pronounced on once fast-growing wind and solar."

Thanks to Carolyn Chase

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Published on Wednesday, February 4, 2009 in The New York Times
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