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Dissecting the U.S. Wind Market

 

California Doing business in the U.S. wind market is a tumultuous affair. After a number of years of high growth, the wind industry is facing a down year, partly due to the lack of consistent policy. As wind professionals watch the space with uncertainty, it's more important than ever to have a grasp on the many moving parts behind the market's expansion and retraction.

Uncertainty seems to be the only constant in the wind industry. This comprehensive report from LBNL breaks down all the important factors that have guided the industry through a less-than-optimal economic and political landscape.

Each year, the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab puts out a report on policy, financial trends, manufacturing capacity, equipment costs and technology performance in wind.

After last year's record 10 GW of installed capacity, the industry will likely only put about 5-7 GW online in 2010. Developers are finding it difficult to secure power purchase agreements, manufacturers are questioning how much to expand in the U.S. and investors are being extremely picky in the projects they back.

Earlier this week, Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported that turbine prices had dropped 15% since 2008. The American Wind Energy Association also said that installations had fallen to 2007 levels, with capacity down 70% in Q2 of 2010 compared with Q2 of 2009.

But the news is not all bad. According to the report, even with the economic malaise and policy inertia, the fraction of wind equipment manufactured within the U.S. increased to 60%. AWEA is warning that number will stagnate or drop if long-term policy is not adopted, however.

Uncertainty seems to be the only constant in the wind industry. This comprehensive report from LBNL breaks down all the important factors that have guided the industry through a less-than-optimal economic and political landscape.

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2010/08/dissecting-the-u-s-wind-market?cmpid=WNL-Friday-August6-2010

Tagged in: American Wind
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