AWEA Annual Wind Energy Industry Report Reflects Strong Growth in 2008, Dramatic Increase in Manufacturing

Sun Apr 12, 2009 5:00pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

WASHINGTON--(Business Wire)--
Wind energy leaders in several categories maintained their #1 positions even as
other leaders emerged in new categories, while 24 states saw new wind turbine
and component manufacturing facilities opened, expanded or announced in 2008,
according to the annual wind energy industry rankings report released today by
the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). 

The new listings, based on 2008 year-end numbers, show Texas leading in wind
capacity and largest wind farms installed, Minnesota and Iowa both generating
over 7% of their electricity from wind, and Indiana as the state with the
fastest growth in wind on a percentage basis. 

In company rankings, NextEra Energy Resources (formerly FPL Energy) continues to
lead in wind farm ownership; GE Energy remained the wind turbine maker with the
largest amount of new capacity installed, and Xcel Energy again leads
investor-owned utilities in wind power. Wind power`s recent growth has also
accelerated investment in manufacturing: wind turbine and turbine component
manufacturers announced, added or expanded more than 55 facilities in 2008
alone, spanning 24 states from Alabama to Wisconsin. 

"The wind energy industry today generates not only clean energy for our economy,
but also hope and opportunity for American workers and businesses," said AWEA
CEO Denise Bode. "Whether it is building or maintaining a wind project, or
producing wind turbine components, you`ll find people employed in wind power in
nearly all 50 states today," Bode said. 

"But we cannot rest on past achievements. We need the right policies in place
for our industry to maintain its momentum. A national Renewable Electricity
Standard, requiring utilities to generate 25 percent of their electricity from
renewable energy sources by 2025, is vital to provide the long-term, U.S.-wide
commitment businesses need to invest tens of billions of dollars in clean energy
installations and manufacturing facilities, and create hundreds of thousands of
American jobs," Bode said. 

Highlights from AWEA`s new report include:

* Iowa, with 2,791 MW installed, surpassed California (2,517 MW) for the No. 2
position in wind power generating capacity. 
* The top five states in terms of capacity installed are:

* Texas, with 7,118 MW 
* Iowa, with 2,791 MW 
* California, with 2,517 MW 
* Minnesota , with 1,754 MW 
* Washington, with 1,447 MW

* Oregon moved into the 1,000-MW club, which now counts seven states, including
Texas, Iowa, California, Minnesota, Washington and Colorado. 
* Indiana ranked as the state with the fastest growth rate, expanding
installations from zero to 131 MW, followed by Michigan (48%), Utah (21%), New
Hampshire (17%) and Wisconsin (6%). 
* Two states - Minnesota and Iowa - now get over 7% of their power needs from
wind. Minnesota ranks first in this list (7.48%), followed closely by Iowa
(7.1%). The rest of the top five are Colorado, North Dakota, and New Mexico. 
* Ten new manufacturing facilities came online, 17 were expanded, and 30 were
announced in 2008, according to AWEA estimates. These investments and
announcements span 24 states: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, New
York, Tennessee, Wisconsin, South Carolina, North Carolina, North Dakota,
Oklahoma, Illinois, Alabama, Ohio, Indiana, Montana, Texas, Minnesota, Idaho,
South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Massachusetts. 
* Approximately 85,000 people are employed in the wind industry today-a 70%
increase from 50,000 a year ago-and hold jobs in areas as varied as turbine
component manufacturing, construction and installation of wind turbines, wind
turbine operations and maintenance, legal and marketing services, and more. 
* NextEra Energy Resources remains atop the list of project owners, with 6,290
MW of wind power assets, roughly 25% of the total installed in the U.S. The
three companies that make up the next 25% are Iberdrola Renewables, MidAmerican
Energy (including PacifiCorp), and Horizon-Energia de Portugal. 
* GE Energy turbines accounted for 43% of all new capacity installed in the U.S.
in 2008. The rest of the top five include Vestas, which accounted for 13%,
Siemens and Suzlon at 9% each, and Gamesa at 7%. Several new companies--Acciona,
REPower, Fuhrlander, DeWind and AWE--entered the U.S. market in 2008. 
* The wind power generating fleet of over 25,300 MW in place as of December
31,2008 will generate an estimated 73 billion kWh in 2009, enough to serve the
equivalent of close to 7 million average U.S. homes.

The full annual rankings report is available on the AWEA Web site at
www.awea.org and a state-by-state listing of existing and proposed wind energy
projects is available at http://www.awea.org/projects. 

AWEA is the national trade association of America`s wind industry, with more
than 1,900 member companies, including global leaders in wind power and energy
development, wind turbine manufacturing, component and service suppliers, and
the world`s largest wind power trade show. AWEA is the voice of wind energy in
the U.S., promoting renewable energy to power a cleaner, stronger America.Look
up information on wind energy at the AWEA Web site. Find insight on industry
issues at AWEA`s blog Into the Wind. Join AWEA on Facebook.
Follow AWEA on Twitter.





American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)
Christine Real de Azua, 202-383-2508
or
Heather Caufield, 212-255-8478 

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