WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The U.S. wind energy industry is expanding as established industry
leaders maintain their top position and manufacturing continues to grow
albeit at a slower rate than in 2008, according to the annual wind
industry market report released today by the American Wind Energy
Association (AWEA). This year’s report features new categories for
offshore wind power and educational and training programs, as well as
expanded information under previously existing categories such as
manufacturing and project updates.
“Jobs, business opportunities, clean air, energy security—wind power is
delivering today on all those fronts for Americans,” said AWEA CEO
Denise Bode. “Our annual report documents an industry hard at work and
on the verge of explosive growth if the right policies—including a
national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) -- are put in place. A
national RES will provide the long-term certainty that businesses need
to invest tens of billions of dollars in new installations and
manufacturing facilities which would create hundreds of thousands of
Highlights from AWEA’s new report include:
The U.S. wind energy industry installed over 10,000 MW of new wind
power generating capacity in 2009, the largest year in U.S. history,
and enough to power the equivalent of 2.4 million homes or generate as
much electricity as three large nuclear power plants.
In industry rankings, GE Energy remained #1 in U.S. wind turbine
sales; NextEra Energy Resources continued to lead in wind farm
ownership; and Xcel Energy continued to lead utilities in wind power
usage. At the same time, however, more companies are now active in
each of these areas, showing that the wind energy market is
diversifying as it expands.
There are 36 states that have utility-scale wind projects and 14
states are in the “Gigawatt Club” with more than 1,000 MW of installed
wind capacity per state.
In state rankings, Iowa leads in terms of percentage of electricity
from wind power, getting 14% of its power from the wind, and also
leads in highest number of jobs in the manufacturing sector. Texas
consolidated its lead in wind capacity and in largest wind farms
The report’s section on manufacturing shows that in spite of a
slowdown in wind turbine manufacturing in 2009 compared to 2008, 10
new manufacturing facilities came online in the U.S. last year, 20
were announced, and nine facilities were expanded. The largest
category was wind turbine sub-components, such as bearings, electrical
components and hydraulic systems. In all, the U.S. wind energy
industry opened, announced or expanded over 100 facilities in the past
three years (2007- 2009), bringing the total of wind turbine component
manufacturing facilities now operating in the U.S. to over 200.
All 50 states have jobs in the wind industry.
Approximately 85,000 people are employed in the wind industry today
and hold jobs in areas as varied as turbine component manufacturing,
construction and installation of wind turbines, wind turbine
operations and maintenance, legal and marketing services,
transportation and logistical services, and more.
To ensure a skilled workforce across the wind energy industry, 205
educational programs now offer a certificate, degree, or coursework
related to wind energy. Of these 205 programs, the largest segments
are university and college programs (45%) and community colleges or
technical school programs (43%).
Despite the economic downturn, the demand for small wind systems for
residential and small business use (rated capacity of 100 kW or less)
grew 15% in 2009, adding 20 MW of generating capacity to the nation.
Seven small wind turbine manufacturing facilities were opened,
announced or expanded in 2009.
Offshore wind power is gaining momentum in the U.S. The report lists
seven projects with significant progress in the planning, permitting,
and testing process. Both the federal government and several states
established significant milestones in 2009 to encourage offshore wind
America’s wind power fleet of 35,000 MW will avoid an estimated 62
million tons of carbon dioxide annually, equivalent to taking 10.5
million cars off the road.
America’s wind power fleet will conserve approximately 20 billion
gallons of water annually that would otherwise be lost to evaporation
from steam of cooling in conventional power plants.
AWEA is the national trade association of America’s wind industry,
with more than 2,500 member companies, including global leaders in wind
power and energy development, wind turbine manufacturing, component and
service suppliers, and the world’s largest wind power trade show. AWEA
is the voice of wind energy in the U.S., promoting renewable energy to
power a cleaner, stronger America. Look up information on wind
energy at the AWEA
Web site. Find insight on industry issues at AWEA’s blog Into
the Wind. Join AWEA on Facebook.
Follow AWEA on Twitter.
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Note to editors:
An abbreviated version of the market report is
available upon request.
The Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) is a flexible, market-driven
policy that enables renewable energy sources, such as wind, to provide
the clean, reliable, domestic power the U.S. needs. An RES ensures that
some amount of renewable energy is included in the portfolio of
electricity resources serving a state or country.