Short takes on ‘imported wind turbines’ issue

If you follow the wind energy industry, you know there’s been a controversy recently over political ads that accuse candidates of having supported wind power and thereby created green jobs in other countries, notably China.

In response, AWEA has argued that a strong national commitment to renewable energy and the strong U.S. wind farm market that will result are needed to encourage businesses to invest billions of dollars building factories here and creating American jobs.

This week has been unusually noteworthy for some memorable quotes on this issue. Without further ado (best parts bolded for emphasis):

Fox59News, based in Indianapolis, examining ads run against Congressman Baron Hill (D-Ind.): “Politifact summarizes that ‘some of the stimulus money supports jobs abroad because turbines are often made overseas. Many are made by U.S. companies or made by foreign companies in the U.S. not a single recipient of program money is owned by a Chinese company.’ Our rating of this ad aimed at Rep. Baron Hill and the others is baloney!”

Grist reporter Todd Woody: “’Approximately one in two wind turbines to go online [worldwide] in 2010 will be in China,’ the Bloomberg report states.

‘The U.S. wind power market continues to be challenged by fallout from the financial crisis, low power prices and an uncertain medium-to-long term policy environment.’

In other words, the inability of the United States to enact federal climate change legislation or a national renewable energy standard and its Lucy-Charlie-Brown-and-the-football approach to financial incentives for wind power — no, really I won’t yank those tax breaks away this time, come on kick the ball — has made investing in multibillion-dollar wind projects a gamble.”

Thomas Richterich, CEO of German wind turbine manufacturer Nordex SE, referring to his company’s opening this week of a wind turbine factory in Jonesboro, Ark: “There’s no way around it. To play in the US wind farm market, you need a made-in-the-USA strategy.”

By Tom Gray,