Job creation and Recovery Act funding By Denise Bode

We all want to create more jobs here in the U.S. What’s more, we have made great strides in U.S. wind turbine and turbine component manufacturing production–up 12-fold from 2004. To continue that very positive trend, we need a strong national RES to give businesses confidence to invest in manufacturing here for the long term.

Information on wind investment and job creation in the U.S.:

* 100% of wind projects that receive the investment tax credits through the Recovery Act are built in the U.S. and will power American homes and businesses.

* To date, the wind industry has already created over 85,000 American jobs.

* The wind industry invested over $16 billion into the economy in 2008 alone.

* The U.S. has rapidly increased domestic wind manufacturing from less than 25% of turbine value prior to 2005 to nearly 50% made in the U.S.A. today.

* In all, domestic turbine and turbine component production has increased 12 times over since 2004.

* In 2008 alone, the U.S. brought online, announced or expanded over 55 manufacturing facilities.

* Nine original equipment manufacturers (OEM)s currently operate wind turbine manufacturing and assembly facilities in the U.S. (Acciona, Clipper, Dewind, Gamesa, GE, Nordic, Siemens, Suzlon, Vestas), with Siemens and Vestas also investing in additional facilities. Six additional OEMs have announced they plan to open manufacturing facilities here in the U.S.

* There are 8,000 components in a wind turbine, including steel, cast iron, composites, and electric and electronic components. Some components are not manufactured in sufficient quantities in the U.S. It will take some time to ramp up domestic manufacturing to meet the growing demand.

* American workers are uniquely qualified to lead the world in wind manufacturing given our historic experience in related industries. The trend in U.S. manufacturing is moving in the right direction but the skills, knowledge and expertise to make wind turbine components cannot all be learned overnight.

* To continue the current trend in American manufacturing, we need strong policies to create a stable and long-term market for American manufacturing, including a national Renewable Electricity Standard.

* According to the Department of Energy, producing 20% of American electricity from wind by 2030 would create 500,000 American jobs.

Denise Bode, CEO, American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)