The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) recently released their 3rd quarter market report showing the addition last quarter of another 1,389 megawatts of installed wind energy, bringing the total capacity in completed wind projects for 2008 to 4,204 MW.
With more wind projects under construction 2008 is expected to be another record year, reaching an estimated total of 7,500 MW (enough to power about 2.2 million homes), surpassing the 2007 record of 5,249 MW installed.
In other good news, and in spite of a crumbling economy, the report shows an increasing manufacturing base for wind projects in the United States, with eight new wind turbine component plants opened, the expansion of nine facilities, and the announcement of 19 additional plants in the works.
As a result of this aggressive investment in manufacturing, AWEA reports that 9,000 new jobs have been added and the share of domestically made components has risen from 30% in 2005 to 50% today.
Slower growth for 2009
With 8,000 MW of new capacity under construction and scheduled for completion this year or next, industry growth is expected to remain strong. Even so, the consecutive years of record growth is not expected to continue in 2009, due to the late extension of renewable energy tax credits and the evolving economic crisis.
AWEA stresses the importance that the new administration places in promoting a long-term, stable policy for renewable energy development is crucial for stimulating job growth and addressing the country’s economic and energy challenges.
The full 20-page report from the American Wind Energy Association is available online (pdf).
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