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.
Over 10,000 MW of wind was installed in 2009, the largest year in U.S. history, keeping the U.S. as the global leader in wind power.
Current U.S. wind power capacity is over 35,000 MW. Wind provided 39% of all new generating capacity in 2009.
14 states are in the “Gigawatt Club” with more than 1,000 MW of capacity installed – 36 states now have utility-scale wind projects.
Top Wind Power Owner: NextEra Energy Resources
Utility With Most Wind Power on System: Xcel Energy
Top U.S. Wind Turbine Supplier: GE Energy. GE installed nearly four gigawatts, or 40% of new U.S. wind-turbine capacity in 2009, up from 3.7 gigawatts in 2008. Vestas Wind Systems AS of Denmark, Siemens AG of Germany and Suzlon Energy Ltd. of India ranked second, third and fourth in new capacity in the U.S. last year. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan moved to fifth with 751 megawatts of new capacity, from seventh place in 2008. Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology of China dipped its toe into the U.S. market in 2009, installing three wind turbines that generate five megawatts of electricity.
World-wide wind capacity rose by 38 gigawatts in 2009, or 30%, according to BTM Consult. China became the top market for wind power last year, installing 13,750 megawatts of new wind-turbine capacity in 2009, doubling from the 6,246 megawatts it installed in 2008, according to Danish research firm BTM Consult.
Chinese wind-turbine makers including Sinovel Wind, Goldwind and Dongfang Electric grew rapidly and took market share from market leaders such as Vestas and GE. Vestas added the most capacity last year, with 12.5% of the megawatts installed in 2009, followed closely by GE, with 12.4% globally. But both companies saw their global share of new capacity fall from 2008 when Vestas had 19.8% and GE had 18.5%, the BTM report said.
Three Chinese wind power makers now rank among the top 10 wind-turbine producers globally and advanced their positions. Sinovel advanced to third place with 9.2% share of new capacity, up from seventh place and a 5% share in 2008. Goldwind moved to fifth place with a 7.2% share, up from ninth place with a 4% share in 2008. Dongfang ranked seventh in 2009 with a 6.5% share, entering the top 10 for the first time.
The wind industry supported 85,000 jobs across all 50 states in 2009.
There were 39 new, announced or expanded manufacturing facilities in 2009, and the total number of online facilities is well over 200.
There are now nine different wind turbine manufacturers with manufacturing facilities in the U.S.
For the past five years, wind power has been one of the largest new sources for electricity generating capacity, second only to new natural gas units. In 2009, wind power provided 39% of all new generating capacity installed.
Since 2005, wind power and other renewable energy technologies, combined with natural gas, have provided over 90% of all new generating capacity in the U.S.
Wind generation is approaching the two percent mark of the U.S. power mix, reaching 1.8% of U.S. generation in 2009. This is an increase from 1.3% of generation at the end of 2008.
All renewable energy sources provided 10.5% of the U.S. power mix in 2009. With the significant increase in renewable energy capacity over the past several years, the power mix is reflecting a slow but steady shift toward renewable energy.
State-by-state, the U.S. continued to see strong growth in Texas and the Northwest. One up-and-coming area of growth in 2009 was the Midwest states of Indiana and Illinois. Texas again installed the largest amount of new capacity, driving it past the 9,000-MW mark in total installations.
Iowa now has a total of 3,670 MW installed, consolidating its position as #2, behind Texas and ahead of California. With several large wind farms added, Washington and Oregon pulled ahead of Minnesota to round out the top five states.
By Chris Madison, AWEA, www.awea.org/blog/