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The US wind industry installed just over 1,200MW in the third quarter, and about 3,360MW on the year so far – but has more than 8,400MW under construction. That is more than in any quarter since 2008, as the federal Production Tax Credit has driven as much as US$ 20 billion a year in private investment.

The third-quarter results released by AWEA indicate the year will finish strong, somewhere between the industry’s high point of 2009 and the recent dip in 2010 amid turmoil in federal tax policy. Years of technological innovations and an influx of U.S.-based manufacturing have driven down the cost of wind energy and saved further on transportation. Including incentives, which all forms of energy get, U.S. wind is now close to cost-competitive with all other energy sources – even shale gas at today’s unsustainable prices. Even so, policy uncertainty has many leading wind developers saying they have no projects scheduled for 2013, which is starting to threaten both development companies and the U.S. wind energy supply chain.
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