Julian Scola, EWEA Communications Director
We are all getting excited about Global Wind Day tomorrow but one wind “skeptic” group is getting over-excited.
‘Americans for Prosperity’ issued a press release with the title ‘Left wing radicals harness the power of child labor on Global Wind Day‘.
While pleased with all publicity for GWD, the press release contains some misunderstandings that need to be corrected:
North America was the third place regional leader last year in terms of installed wind capacity with a total of 52,184 MW, according to the latest annual statistics recently released by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).
The US saw an additional 6,810 MW of new wind power capacity added to various grid systems in 2011 while Canada experienced an increase of 1,267 MW, GWEC reported.
By the end of last year, the US had a total of 46,919 MW of installed capacity, GWEC reported, while Canada had 5,265 MW.
The US wind power industry begins 2012 waiting to see if American politicians will decide early in a national election year to extend the Production Tax Credit (PTC) which is worth billions in wind energy investments and tens of thousands of new jobs.
According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), policy makers should quickly extend the PTC, which is the US wind power sector’s main policy incentive, in order to replace the industry’s boom and bust cycles with long-term certainty.
Lobbying for a multi-year extension to the PTC, which is currently to expire by the end of 2012, AWEA noted a new government incentive would allow the industry to continue creating employment opportunities and generating economic growth despite the ongoing financial crisis.
Harnessing offshore wind would be cheaper for the U.S. than continuing to drill for oil and gas off the Atlantic coast and it would also create more jobs, according to a new report issued this week.
An analysis by Oceana, an international organisation focused on ocean conservation, also found that a modest investment in offshore wind could supply almost half the current electricity generation on the East Coast.
The report, called “Untapped Wealth: The Potential of Offshore Energy to Deliver Clean, Affordable Energy and Jobs,” noted that the disastrous consequences of the April oil rig explosion and leak in the Gulf of Mexico underscore the high costs of heavy U.S. reliance on fossil fuels.
Further proof of China’s desire to aggressively tap into the still nascent, and potentially highly lucrative, offshore wind power sector as part of its plan to embrace a green energy revolution was revealed earlier this week in a story by ClimateWire.
The story, published by Environment & Energy Publishing and distributed by The New York Times, also pointed out just how much further China is ahead of the US in developing its offshore wind industry.
“What the U.S. doesn’t realise,” the story quoted Peggy Liu, founder and chairwoman of the Joint U.S.-China Collaboration on Clean Energy, as saying, is that China “is going from manufacturing hub to the clean-tech laboratory of the world.”