USA Wind Power Industry Becalmed

While Europe is set to have a record year in terms of new wind power capacity, the USA wind industry appears to be faltering.
 
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) announced last week only 700 megawatts (MW) wind capacity had been added in the second quarter of 2010. This represents a drop of 57% from 2008 and 71% from 2009 levels..  
 
The AWEA says the U.S. is losing the clean energy manufacturing race to Europe and China; which have solid, long-term renewable energy targets and policy frameworks in place.
 
Even with over 5,500 MW of wind turbines under construction and a more active second half of year, AWEA projects that 2010 installations will likely be 25-45% below 2009 installations, depending on policy developments. There is a dramatic drop in the project development pipeline after the 5,500 MW new capacity under construction and without new turbine orders, the industry is in danger.
 
The AWEA and a coalition of organisations are calling on Congress to put in place a strong national renewable electricity standard (RES) to boost demand for renewable energy, attract manufacturing investment, and save and create jobs.
 
To date in 2010, the U.S. has installed more coal and natural gas power generation plants than wind and other clean, renewable energy sources says the AWEA. In the previous two years, new wind power close to equalled new natural gas, and the two sources accounted for approximately 90% of all new annual generating capacity installed over the past 5 years. 
 
The AWEA Mid-Year 2010 Market Report can be downloaded here (PDF)