Here’s a nice graphic from the New York Times that summarizes what is happening with the U.S. and wind energy, compared to Europe and China. As we’ve said previously here, it matches the policy disparity between these contenders for global wind energy leadership and new manufacturing jobs. It’s hard to find a clearer statement of the need for strong, supportive government policy in order to build a large new manufacturing industry.
The Times ascribes the less-than-robust outlook for U.S. wind to “a weak economy and abundant supplies of energy from inexpensive fossil fuels.” About the weak economy, which has in turn caused weak electricity demand, there can be no doubt. However, as a previous entry on this blog indicates, wind energy’s costs are in a competitive range with those of fossil fuels. It’s the lack of a serious national policy commitment to renewable energy that is weighing us down.