As countries around the world continue to focus on energy independence and climate-change targets, the United States has enacted legislation with the potential to change the renewable energy landscape in North America.
Today Siemens Gamesa, a global wind energy leader, published its white paper “Scaling up the American wind industry.” The paper focuses on the next critical steps that policymakers in the United States must take to ensure that wind turbine manufacturers and developers can leverage recently passed climate legislation, grow the country’s renewable energy industry, and meet vital climate targets.
The paper outlines key barriers still facing the U.S. market, including:
- a lack of certainty on the rules and requirements for new incentive programs;
- a growing gap between qualified workers and available positions in the domestic renewable energy industry;
- long and unpredictable permitting processes and insufficient transmission infrastructure; and
- inadequately balanced risk-reward structures between developers and wind-turbine manufacturers.
“The policy framework now in place in the United States has provided an opportunity for the wind-energy market to grow, but it is merely the first step in addressing the key challenges that may prevent the U.S. from achieving its climate, economic, and energy-security goals. The long-term viability of the U.S. wind industry requires policymakers to further prioritize policies that strengthen the industry and enable cooperation among federal, state, and municipal entities,” says Jochen Eickholt, CEO of Siemens Gamesa.
How the United States can enable long-term growth
Siemens Gamesa has identified key steps that policymakers in the U.S. should prioritize in order to build on the policy framework now in place:
- provide expedient clarification on U.S. tax incentive programs, enabling developers and manufacturers to achieve eligibility and promote wind-energy deployment, consistent with statutory requirements and objectives;
- acknowledge the impacts of long durations between auction results and projects for offshore wind by including compensation mechanisms for costs that are subject to high inflation;
- connect communities across the country to employment opportunities in the wind industry;
- provide public support for workforce development programs to meet a common set of standards agreed upon by the wind industry and thereby maximize basic workplace safety and technical training;
- maximize clean-energy deployment over the next ten years by streamlining permitting processes for clean-energy projects and transmission infrastructure consistent with environmental law; and
- incentivize the construction of new transmission infrastructure to bring new and pending wind energy capacity online.
A global outlook for U.S. wind
The paper also recognizes that the decarbonization of the U.S. energy market is critical to any realistic scenario in global emission reductions, but acknowledges that it is not alone.
Many countries and regions around the world are on the same journey to enable an energy transition that addresses global climate change and ensures energy security. The scale of renewable deployment required to achieve the world’s climate and energy objectives will open opportunities for – and in fact necessitates – collaboration among governments to create regional manufacturing capacities.