More American Wind Farms Using U.S.-Made Components

Aug. 6, 2010
Reports shows that parts from domestic manufacturers climbing rapidly, as OEMs seek to establish local supply chain.

The American wind energy sector might be hurting, but at least its increasingly relying on parts manufactured in the U.S., according to a new annual report on the wind industry from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The report, entitled "Wind Technologies Market Report," says that 60% of wind turbine components were sourced from U.S. manufacturers in 2009, compared to just 50% in 2008.

That increase is reflective of efforts by wind farm equipment suppliers to establish local manufacturing supply chains and minimize transportation costs and currency risks.

The report, which was produced by the Department of Energys Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, points out that seven of the 10 largest wind turbine manufacturers in the world have established U.S. manufacturing facilities, while two of the remaining three are opening plants in America in the near future.

But not all the news was entirely uplifting.

While 2009 saw a record 10GW of installed capacity, the reports says the industry will likely see only 5- to 7GW online in 2010. This comes as developers are finding it increasingly difficult to secure power purchase agreements, while manufacturers and investors are hesitant to increase funding in an atmosphere in which a renewable energy standard is a political third-rail issue.

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

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