"The U.S. wind industry is in distress," a top renewable energy advocate said Tuesday, and the situation appears as though it could get worse.
Denise Bode, chief executive of the American Wind Energy Assn., said that without a national renewable energy standard, investment and interest in wind projects past 2010 would be headed for a free fall.
Despite more than 5.5 gigawatts under construction, the number of installations this year will still end up 25% to 45% below 2009 levels, according to a new report from the group. And beyond that, there's a yawning hole in the queue for planned projects.
The first half of the year saw just 1,239 new megawatts come online, a 57% plunge from the same period in 2008 and a 71% drop from last year. Only two new manufacturing plants were built, compared to seven in 2008 and five in 2009."