With cheaper availability of natural gas, eco-friendly power projects in the US are facing problems of economic viability. The wind power sector is expected to grow this year by only three-quarters of last year's figure, as per the American Wind Energy Association.
Oil billionaire T Boone Pickens has decided to shelve his large wind farm project in Texas. Spain's Iberdrola SA has also scaled down its US investment plan.
Pickens had plans to install 667 wind turbines ordered in May 2008 with hopes to fund his own transmission lines, but failed to source the required capital. He planned to set up 4,000MW of power capacity that could light up nearly 1.2 million homes. The project, located near Pampa, Texas, would have cost $8 billion.
Pickens now plans to set up smaller, more modest wind farms in areas with strong wind sources. Wind farms are being seen as a key component of green energy. (See: Wind farms to play key role in shift to green energy)
"I had hoped that Pampa would be the starting point, but transmission issues and the problem with the capital markets make that unfeasible at this point. I expect to continue development of the Pampa project, but not at the pace that I originally expected,'' Pickens said.
The solar-power industry too has seen lay offs and shelving of large projects.