Wind executive warns of natural gas competition

Wind energy advocates have kept a wary eye on the rise of less expensive natural gas as an energy source competitive with wind and Ignacio Galan, chief executive officer of Iberdrola , brought the matter into the open by commenting that “shale gas makes the production of electricity from other sources not attractive enough”.

Galan’s comments were in a an article in the Financial Times. Iberdrola, a Spanish-based energy conglomerate, is the second-largest operator of wind farms in the U.S., including farms in Iowa near Mason City and another in Crawford County.

The price of natural has has been cut in half since 2008 by increased production from new shale gas fields in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Pennsylvania and New York.

Wind power development stalled in the U.S. and in Iowa in 2010 in part because of uncertainty surrounding the continuation of investment tax credits for wind energy but also because of the emergence of natural gas as a plentiful fuel.

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