U.S. Wind Executives See Lack of Financing and National Energy Policy as Top Obstacles to Growth

Respondents rank sales and marketing, cost reductions and increased project development as their most important strategic activities in 2010.

Droege & Comp. is an international management consulting firm that specializes in the development and implementation of programs on value-enhancement through growth and restructuring.

Gibbs & Soell is the eighth largest independent public relations agency in the United States (O’Dwyer’s 2010 PR Agency Report) and offers communications expertise in advanced manufacturing, energy, greentech and sustainable industries.

Business advocates of the U.S. wind energy market point to the lack of financing and the lack of a national energy policy as the top obstacles to growth, according to the 2010 U.S. Wind Industry Monitor.

The 2010 U.S. Wind Industry Monitor is an opinion poll conducted by Droege & Comp., an international management consultancy offering an energy competency, and Gibbs & Soell, an independent global public relations firm with communications expertise in advanced manufacturing, energy, greentech and sustainable industries.

Nearly 60 professionals representing various enterprises serving the wind industry participated in the poll. Highlights of the findings include:

* Respondents identified the lack of financing (72.0 percent), lack of national energy policy (67.0 percent) and lack of transmission (54.0 percent) as “important” or “very important” main obstacles to business growth.
* Despite the ongoing challenges, most respondents forecasted growth for their U.S. businesses in 2010 (69.6 percent), 2011 (83.0 percent) and 2012 (84.6 percent).
* Generating heightened visibility among stakeholders is critically important for sparking growth in the mature wind industry market. Sales and marketing efforts (67.0%) were identified by participants as an “important” or “very important” strategic activity for 2010.

“The U.S. wind industry is poised to regain speed, as evidenced by the recently announced contract signing by a major power buyer for the nation’s first large scale, offshore wind farm,” said Sebastian Goeres, a renewable energy specialist with Droege & Comp. “Despite continuing hindrances related to financing and policy, recent market developments have motivated savvy wind enterprises to take a new look at their growth strategies. Cost reductions through supplier negotiations and improvements in operational efficiency certainly will be two focal points for those wishing to strengthen their positions now.”

More aggressive sales and marketing efforts within the United States will dominate strategies for the majority of respondents. The most popular communications methods cited were e-mail promotions (71.7%) and editorial coverage in traditional news media (52.8%), which are more conventional marketing and public relations techniques.

“The popularity of proven techniques speaks to the maturity of the industry, yet points to the need for a better understanding of how an integrated communications strategy can effectively influence sales and other business activities,” stated Ron Loch, senior vice president, Gibbs & Soell. “A comprehensive strategy that embraces traditional and new media can help businesses build meaningful connections with customers, investors, law makers, and many more stakeholders integral to the growth of the U.S. wind industry.”

Over 23,000 attendees and 1,300 exhibitors are expected to participate in the 2010 WINDPOWER Conference and Exhibition, the premier wind energy event in North America. WINDPOWER 2010 will take place from May 23 to May 26, 2010 in Dallas.

The Droege Group and its subsidiaries, which include Droege & Comp., have been active in the international market for over 20 years. Droege & Comp. was founded in 1988 by Walter P. J. Droege to provide consulting services by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. Adherence to the principle of “The art of execution-driven consulting” has actually put Droege & Comp. at the forefront of implementation-oriented consultancies.

Founded in 1971, Gibbs & Soell is the eighth largest independent public relations agency in the United States (O’Dwyer’s 2010 PR Agency Report). Headquartered in New York, Gibbs & Soell has full-service offices in Chicago, Raleigh, N.C. and Zurich, Switzerland, and a global footprint that extends to more than 30 countries through its affiliate network that includes the Public Relations Organisation International (PROI).