Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

The Economic Reach of Wind

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 20, 2009

Renewable Energy World has an interesting article on why wind power is so important to the US right now:

…as the U.S. economy hemorrhaged jobs in 2008, the wind industry enjoyed 70% job growth — growth that supported a 60% surge in new wind capacity installation over 2007. The wind industry installed 8,358 MW last year, which accounted for roughly 40% of all new electricity capacity. This incredible growth led to the addition of around 35,000 new jobs, creating a total of 85,000 people now employed in the wind industry. More impressive still, even though the new jobs were wind power jobs, they were added across myriad sectors, such as manufacturing, construction and operations, among others.

The wind power jobs story is also one of “on-shoring” (as opposed to offshoring). In 2008 a continued shift toward domestic production resulted in nine new facilities opening across the country and many more on the way. …

[…]

In the past, the U.S. wind industry relied largely on imported components; however, there has been a remarkable shift towards domestic manufacturing in the past few years that is likely to continue. Since 2005 many of the leaders in turbine manufacturing have opened U.S. facilities; of the top 10 global suppliers in 2007, seven — Vestas, GE, Gamesa, Suzlon, Siemens, Acciona, and Nordex — have an American manufacturing presence. (The other three — Enercon, Goldwind, and Sinovel — do not yet sell into the U.S. market.) In addition, the homegrown Clipper Windpower has joined GE Energy as a major domestic player in the production of utility-scale turbines, with the two companies together capturing 50% of the 2008 domestic market.

Domestic manufacturing for large components in particular, such as towers and blades, has increased significantly over the past several years, with the majority now produced in the U.S. As for the thousands of smaller and midsized components, while the U.S. continues to import some of them (mostly from Europe) many more can now be sourced from American companies.

One Response to “The Economic Reach of Wind”

  1. jo6pac said

    Thanks for the names of companies in the business, there was a great story in the SFC about a small silly valley, Calif. start up that just sold its electric bus tech to China. It’s there but we seam to be held up by the govt.

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