Up until recently, supply was the limiting factor preventing more large-scale wind turbines and farms from being built. There simply were not enough factories manufacturing turbine parts, and those that existed took a long time to build those parts. As a result, although we have certainly installed a record amount of wind power capacity across the country (4.2 gigawatts in 2008’s first three quarters, according to the American Wind Association), demand for turbines generally exceeded supply.
The good news is, the manufacturing industry has responded to that demand. The AWE also reported that eight new turbine manufacturing factories went online this year, and that nine expanded their production capacity. Business leaders for renewable energy companies have confirmed that turbines are now relatively abundant and easier to procure.
Money, though, has become an issue. Like everyone else hit by the credit crunch, wind companies lack the necessary capital to get their projects moving. Loans are hard to come by, and the new renewable tax credits guaranteed by Congress do not go into effect until January. In theory, despite the availability of turbines we might actually see LESS generating capacity given this financial drought.
Hopefully, those with the means to help out these companies will do so. In our unsteady economic times, it makes sense to invest in a technology that is reliable and effective.
Via Greentech Media
written by Adam Pieniazek, November 04, 2008
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