On July 8th, 2008, hedge fund manager T. Boone Pickens announced his intention to develop a large wind farm in his home state of Texas, but a year later Pickens decided against doing so. Troubled credit markets, along with falling natural gas prices, have eliminated or stalled many renewable-energy projects. The 1973 OPEC oil embargo gave impetus to federal and state policies to spur development of indigenous energy sources, including non-hydro renewable ones.
Yet, 40 years later and despite various financial incentives, the contribution of non-hydro renewable energy sources in meeting energy demands in various sectors of the economy is still miniscule. In the electric- power sector, which is the sector where non-hydro renewables has received the greatest policy, regulatory, and programmatic attention, non-hydro renewable-energy sources supplied less than 1% of the nation’s total net electricity production in 2007.