The Stimulus Saved The US Wind Industry In 2009
By Jerome A. Paris January 29, 2010
The good news just came this morning: the US wind industry shattered all records in 2009, coming within a whisper of installing 10 GW (10,000 MW) in the year, up 18% from what was already a record year. Total installed capacity went up from 25 GW from 35 GW, i.e. up 40% With similarly strong numbers expected out of China, and Europe's soon-to-be-announced but expected-to-be-decent numbers (with strong news on the offshore front), this is really upbeat news - and it is relevant to Europe as a large chunk of turbine manufacturing globally is still done in Europe, and volatile US demand has made life difficult for turbine manufacturers in the past.
And this was really unexpected. Some of you might remember that I wrote a diary last year titled: "Wind power set to decline under Obama?" I was worried, like many others, that the industry would suffer massively from the financial crisis, dependent as it was on long term loans and tax equity structures provided by banks like Lehmann Brothers, and that new installations would collapse from the lack of funds.
Thankfully, I was wrong.
While the first half of the year was really tough, something made a difference: the stimulus plan, and specific support mechanisms focused on the wind industry. more