You think it has been a bad year for nuclear power or Japanese grown vegetables?
Wind energy declines in USA
28 July 2010
Wind power installations to date this year have dropped by 71% from last years level, according to the latest quarterly report from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
Only 700 MW of wind turbines were added in Q2 2010, down 57% from comparable 2008 levels and down 71% from 2009.
Even with 5.5 GW of wind power under construction and a more active second half of the year anticipated, AWEA projects that total 2010 installations will be 25% to 45% below 2009 installations, depending on policy developments.
Combined Q1 and Q2wind energy installations in 2010 are 1239 MW, 57% below 2008 half-year levels and 71% below 2009.
AWEA and a coalition of renewable energy, labor, utility and environmental groups are calling on the US Congress to enact a strong national renewable electricity standard (RES) to spur demand for green power, attract manufacturing investment and save (and create) jobs.
“Strong Federal policy supporting the US wind energy industry has never been more important,” says Denise Bode of AWEA. “We have an historic opportunity to build a major new manufacturing industry.”
“Without strong, supportive policy like an RES to spur demand, investment and jobs, manufacturing facilities will go idle and lay off workers if Congress doesn’t act now – before time runs out this session,” she adds.
US wind energy now in ‘coasting momentum’
There is no demand beyond the present “coasting momentum” and, without stable policy, without demand and new power purchase agreements and without new wind turbine orders, the domestic industry is sputtering out, the group notes. “Passage of a strong national RES will boost demand and fire up the industry’s economic engines.”
The US wind energy industry has repeatedly criticized the ‘boom-and-bust’ cycles which result in layoffs and also discourage investment in new manufacturing facilities. The USA is losing the clean energy manufacturing race to Europe and China, which have firm long-term renewable energy targets and policy commitments in place, warns AWEA.
According to a national poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, an RES is popular among US voters with strong support from 65% of Republican voters, 69% of Independents and 92% of Democrats.