Wind Energy Production in the United States

How Oregon Plays a Part in Wind Turbine Development

wind turbine farm

2011 was characterized by growth in investment and development of renewable energy in the United States. Contrary to this notion, the financial support for wind power generation as an integral component of this industry has seen some decline (quoted in some sources as being as much as a 38% decline, leaving only $9.7 billion in development for wind energy). Moreover, start-up investments have declined by 71%.

Among the reasons behind such a negative trend, research indicates the break- through of some Chinese companies, which collectively rocked the list of top 10 wind turbine producers with no less than four companies (while in contrast, five years ago there were no Chinese companies on the list). Being the second largest player in wind energy sector, the USA possesses 20.3% of the global market in this sector, currently lagging behind China by 2.3%.

Among other countries whose wind energy development and contributions earned them a spot on this list, Germany, Japan, Spain, India and Denmark are also included. Chinese companies have out-paced the United States, which has subsequently led to the decline of American investors’ interest in wind energy generation. It does appear unlikely, however, that the United States will end up losing the title of “biggest wind energy producers,” given the fact that wind energy production provides the potential for a stable source of energy in such states as Texas, California, Minnesota, Iowa, and Washington.

Moreover, a great potential for wind energy generation has been found in another 20 states. Among these, we find North Dakota of particular promise; recently, the state has even obtained the nickname “Saudi Arabia of Wind Energy.” The development of this industry sector is supported by a large majority of the American population — generally speaking, it holds both the possibility of clean energy, as well as renewable energy, and offers the promise of sustainable energy production for a country far too indebted to oil.

According to numerous polls of public opinion, renewable energy, particularly wind power, is encouraged by a stable and growing section of the nation. An October 2010 poll (conducted by Harris Service), showed that 87% of Americans have voted to increase the proportion of wind energy that is a part of the total national energy strategy.

American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) plays a crucial role in the development of wind energy generation. In particular, this entity has aimed at gaining a 25% share of renewable energy (foremost solar and wind) of the total energy generation in the United States, by 2025. AWEA has also received the appreciation and support of many United States leaders. Our previous American President, George Bush, expressed the opinion (at one of the AWEA’s meetings), that the development of wind energy fits with the national interests of the country, and provides an effective solution to ecological problems, as well as a solution to national security problems.

Among other key players in the wind energy market, some specialized companies deserve to be mentioned. Particularly, in the United States, there are two major producers of wind turbine systems that contribute to the world market. The first one is General Electric Wind Turbines, which operates not only in the USA, but also in Norway, Germany, Canada and, surprisingly, China, having established nearly 13,500 turbines all over the world since the company’s founding.

The second one is NextEra, originated in Oregon in 1998. To date, it manages
9,000 turbines included within 76 wind farms in both the United States and Canada.

[Photo Via: renewablepowernews]

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