The US wind industry broke all previous records by installing nearly 10,000MW of new generating capacity in 2009, but still lags in manufacturing, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
The new projects place wind power neck and neck with natural gas as the leading source of new electricity generation in the country. Together, the two sources account for about 80 per cent of the new capacity added in the country last year.
‘The US wind-energy industry shattered all installation records in 2009 but US wind-turbine manufacturing is down compared to last year’s levels,’ said Denise Bode, chief executive officer of AWEA.
The 9,922MW installed last year expanded the US wind-plant fleet by 39 per cent and brought total wind-power-generating capacity in the US to over 35,000MW.
The five-year average annual growth rate for the industry is now 39 per cent, up from 32 per cent between 2003 and 2008.
The report is available on AWEA’s website at: http://www.awea.org/publications/reports/4Q09.pdf