Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Manufacturing

Oil Price Spike Could Energize Demand for Made-in-America Wind Turbines

rising oil prices could help U.S. wind turbine industryGiven the long term slide in U.S. manufacturing, it’s no surprise that the domestic wind turbine industry has some catching up to do. In fact, right around this time last year, a bit of a brouhaha erupted when Recovery Act funding was made available to build U.S. wind farms using turbines shipped in from overseas. However, the American wind industry has been stepping up its game, and American manufacturers are poised to get a big boost from the current spike in oil prices.

Shipping Costs and Wind Turbines

Until recently, overseas manufacturers had the competitive advantage. But U.S. manufacturers are finding that overseas shipping expenses are a big enough factor to give domestic production an edge. Though many parts are small, the core features of wind turbines are enormous, heavy pieces that are costly to ship long distances. Last year, Michigan attracted its first large wind turbine manufacturer, North Power Systems, which uses made-in-America parts. Not to be outdone, the company Aeronautica Windpower has gotten third-party certification for its made-in-America cred.  That kind of thinking is also motivating overseas companies to build wind wind turbine factories in the U.S.

Shipping Costs Going Up, Up, Up

The rising price of fossil fuels is the key factor in driving consumer demand for alternative energy, and it can also help give domestic wind turbine manufacturing a boost from behind, too. The vast majority of global shipping is conducted over water, by container ships that mainly use a low grade of oil known as bunker fuel – and bunker prices have been quick to rise along with the price of crude. Though the shipping industry is transitioning to better fuel efficiency and even the use of alternative energy such as wind power, it will continue to rely on bunker for years to come, and the competitiveness of U.S. wind turbine manufacturers will continue to improve with every upward tick.

Image: Statue of Liberty by Celso Flores on flickr.com.

 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
 

Advertisement
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

Tina specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

Comments

You May Also Like

Clean Power

Is this thin sheet of aluminum foil the secret sauce behind new low-cost "forever" solar panels from the US startup Violet Power?

Buildings

Did you realize how many energy efficiency jobs there are right now in the US?

Agriculture

So, this is weird. In one corner, you have US President* Donald J. Trump talking up the fossil fuel industry and denying climate change,...

Green Economy

The membership of CASM, which has field unfair trade petitions against China, has grown to 202 U.S. solar PV businesses employing some 17,000. More...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.