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Windtech International May June 2024 issue

 

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The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has announced that with only 700MW added in the second quarter of 2010, wind power installations to date this year have dropped by 57 and 71% from 2008 and 2009 levels respectively.

Manufacturing investment also continues to lag below 2008 and 2009 levels. Even with over 5,500MW under construction and a more active second half of year in store, AWEA projects that 2010 installations will likely be 25–45% below 2009 installations, depending on policy developments. There is a dramatic drop in the project development pipeline after the 5,500MW under construction – that is, there is no demand beyond the present ‘coasting momentum’. American Recovery & Reinvestment Act funding is key to bringing projects that are already in the pipeline (i.e. ‘shovel ready’) to the finish line, and this happened in a spectacular way in 2009 with 10,000MW of new wind power installed. However, currently, power purchase agreements, the locomotive that drives the project pipeline, are difficult to obtain, given the drop in overall electricity demand, lower natural gas prices, and the absence of a clear national renewable energy policy (RES). While wind turbine orders saw a slight increase in 2Q, mostly for 2010 delivery, the order level continues to be below what is needed to drive more manufacturing. New wind turbine manufacturing facility openings dropped from 2008 and 2009 levels, with only two new manufacturing facilities coming online in the first half of 2010, compared to seven in 2008 and five in 2009. The Q2 report is available on the AWEA website at www.awea.org/publications/reports/2Q10.pdf.
 
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