Wind industry leaders say development in the United States has fallen off dramatically in the past few months, and that could have an impact on Iowa wind turbine manufacturers. The American Wind Energy Association reports the industry just finished its slowest quarter since 2007.
Association C.E.O. Denise Bode says that follows what had been a period of mostly steady growth. “We’re down almost 72% year to date since 2009, and that’s at the same time wind projects in Europe, they’re installing twice the rate we are and three times the rate in China right now,” Bode says.
Bode says the slowdown is starting to show up for Iowa companies that make things like turbines. She says they’re not getting orders, and the big part of jobs in the wind industry is the manufacturing jobs. And Bode says a loss of manufacturing jobs would hit at the heart of Iowa’s wind industry.
Bode says, “Iowa is the number one manufacturing state, so Iowa is at risk for loss and layoffs of manufacturing jobs right now because of these numbers.” Bode says the U.S. needs stronger federal policies to promote continued development. She says much of the past growth was driven by the expectation that Congress would pass national renewable electricity standards.
Opponents of such legislation argue a federal standard would increase energy costs for consumers.