There are both upbeat statistics and cautionary numbers in AWEA’s 2009 market report, which was issued today. The positive news is that U.S. wind energy continues to grow. The industry installed a record amount of wind capacity in 2009, saw new companies entering the market, while 10 new manufacturing plants came online, plans for 20 others were announced, and nine facilities were expanded.
The caution comes because manufacturing was down in 2009, and jobs were flat, in part because of the economic slowdown, but also because the United States, unlike other industrial countries, does not have renewable energy targets to drive demand. So while the U.S. was number one worldwide at the end of last year, it risks losing its premier status, its momentum–and jobs–unless hard targets are put in place.
Denise Bode, AWEA’s CEO commented, “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 American jobs.”
The report presents a detailed snapshot of all facets of the U.S. wind industry at the end of 2009, including state rankings and a breakout of manufacturing facilities. See a sample of the report’s statistics and other information here.