Furloughed workers in the US and extending the PTC for wind energy

Similar to what happened in Europe, the global pandemic is also a major disruption for the wind sector in the US. Driven by parts and material delays directly caused by COVID-19 impacts on its international suppliers, Siemens Gamesa made the difficult decision on 6 April to furlough 100 employees at the Fort Madison, Iowa, facility and about 200 employees at the Hutchinson, Kansas facilities. At this point, SGRE anticipates this challenging situation will last three or four weeks, but as the world’s number two wind turbine OEM, it is doing everything they can to restore the supply chain as quickly as possible.  According to SGRE, the full operations will be resumed as soon as supplies become available
SGRE was the third largest turbine supplier in the US wind market with 16 per cent market share for new installations in 2019 and with more than 4 GW under construction or in advanced development. The disruption caused by the COVID-19 on production in its two US facilities is likely to impact its forecasted delivery plan in the US market this year.
According to GWEC Market Intelligence, the US was the world’s second largest market in 2019, with 9.1 GW of new onshore capacity. The ongoing US onshore wind installation rush is primarily driven by the planned Production Tax Credit (PTC) phaseout, as project developers must chase the 2020 deadline to qualify for the full PTC value. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is currently calling on policymakers in the US to extend the PTC deadline and continuity safe harbour in order to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the wind industry and ensure that planned projects can benefit from the tax credit.
AWEA Q4 2019 Statistics show that more than 22 GW of wind project pipeline was under construction at the end of 2019. Considering the disruption on both local and global wind supply chain and the latest status of the COVID-19 crisis in the US, GWEC believes, it has become unrealistic to bring 15 GW wind power online in 2020, which was expected pre-COVID crisis.