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Energy Roundup: GE Catching Vestas, Venezuela's Cash-Strapped Blues, and More

GE captures market share from lead wind turbine maker -- A report from Danish research firm BTM Consult says GE is capitalizing on the growth of wind power in the U.S. and is set to wrest away considerable market share from top turbine wind supplier Vestas. The world's top 10 wind turbine suppliers, including Siemens of Germany and Suzlon Energy of India, hold about 85 percent of the market. BTM also makes some predictions about the future of wind power, saying it will grow 15.7 percent annually through 2013, a slower rate than the previous five years due to the ongoing economic crisis. [Source: Greentech Media]

Venezuela seeks joint ventures as oil drillers continue to idle rigs -- Venezuela's state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela or PdVSA is courting oil service companies to consider joint venture deals as a way of capitalizing its unpaid bills. PdVSA, strapped for cash since oil fell last year, stopped paying for services back in August. Some U.S. drillers have halted their operations due to lack of payment including Helmerich & Payne, which has idled four of its rigs because PdVSA has paid less than 1 percent of its outstanding debt. [Source: WSJ, IHT]

Feds to invest $3.2 billion in energy efficiency projects -- The Obama Administration announced plans today to put $3.2 billion towards energy efficiency and conservation projects as part of the economic stimulus package. This is on top of the Department of Energy's recent release of $8 billion to support weatherization and state energy projects. The money can be used by local and state governments to fund a variety of efforts including transportation programs that conserve energy and projects that reduce and capture methane and other greenhouse emissions from landfills. [Source: Department of Energy]

U.S. companies waste $2.8 billion on idling PCs -- Nearly half of U.S. employees who use a PC at work do not shut down their computers, wasting $2.8 billion every year, according to a recent report commissioned by 1E and Alliance to Save Energy. The PC Energy Report surveyed employees in the U.S., UK and Germany and discovered most of these same workers shut down their computers at home. [Source: Environmental Leader, 1E]

Wilderness bill protects two million acres from oil, gas exploration projects -- The largest expansion of protected national lands in 15 years will close off two million acres of public lands from oil and gas exploration projects and will guard more than 1,000 miles of rivers and streams from commerical development, under a wilderness bill passed by the House yesterday. The bill, which has already been passed by the Senate and is expected to be signed by President Obama, targets public land in nine states, the largest amount in California, which will see 700,000 acres given wilderness status. [Source: Upstream, NYT]

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