WIND BOOMS IN FIRST QUARTER 2009
Wind industry adds nearly 3,000 MW, group says
Sandy Shore, April 28, 2009 (AP)
"Wind farms added more than 2,800 megawatts of capacity in the first quarter…offering a sliver of good news for an industry pummeled by frozen credit markets and the recession.
"From January to March, about three dozen developers started wind farms in 15 states adding about twice the capacity that came on line last year during the same period, according to a report by the American Wind Energy Association…"
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"Most projects were already under construction in 2008 as the economy weakened…A number of companies were forced to shelve projects and lay off workers, particularly from October to December when credit became scarce…[I]nvestments began to tail off because of the way tax credits for projects are structured. Tax credits do not pack the same punch when the economy falters.
"The Treasury Department is expected to release new rules as part of the U.S. stimulus package that would allow for something closer to a rebates for wind investments as an alternative to tax credits…The stimulus package has already had an effect on the industry."
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"By the end of March, about three dozen new projects had been announced with a potential of 3,540 megawatts…[T]hose projects were motivated by the stimulus package…
"The industry is still wrestling in the current economic climate…Vestas A/S, the world's biggest wind turbine manufacturer [will]… lay off 1,900 workers primarily in Denmark and Britain, because of sluggish demand in Europe…"