With the on-going uncertainty over the production tax credit (PTC) extension, many factors are indicating that the American wind manufacturing industry is picking up speed to cope with a rush of orders in 2012.
In 2011, an additional 31% of wind capacity was installed compared to 2010, totalling a massive 1.6GW.
This dramatic increase in project commissioning has widely been attributed to the uncertainty surrounding the PTC extension, a topic being hotly debated throughout the industry and government.
The PTC, worth $0.022 per kWh for a projects’ first ten years of operation is a key driver in the continued planning and commissioning of wind installations. It is also widely seen to be responsible for the creation of thousands of jobs throughout the renewable energy sector, and its expiration will undoubtedly have an adverse effect on the future renewable power industries.
However, the fear of a PTC expiration is currently having the reverse effect on manufacturing companies. With the danger of commissioning projects with no tax incentive looming, developers are looking to fast-track projects to commissioning stage, which is having the knock-on effect of pushing manufacturers’ capacity to the limit.
This increase in competition has resulted in turbine manufacturers seeking the best possible terms of collaboration with a supplier, often in a strategic mid-term partnership.
A key forum that both client and customer have utilised over the last 2 years to secure such partnerships has been Wind Energy Update’s wind turbine manufacturing and supply chain conference, taking place on the 28-29th March 2012, Chicago. Now in its third year of existence, it has long been a key forum for manufacturers and turbine manufacturers collaborate and connect. With the state of the PTC, this year is widely seen to have greater importance. Not only will the leading turbine manufacturers be present, the DoE will also be represented to elaborate on the kind of support that the industry can hope to expect in 2012 and beyond.
For more information visit www.windenergyupdate.com/supplychainUSA
Wind Energy Update
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7375 7516
Experts say that it might be possible to temporarily slow or stop a turbine blade during times when frequent lightning is detected. We look at research and meteorological feedback from academia and industry to assess the latest in lightning-based blade protection.
Canada is on track to reach 12,000 MW in installed wind power by the end of 2016. But Canada's winter conditions bring certain risks. Matthew Wadham-Gagnon discusses why continued R&D around ice throw will mostly lead to optimising turbine positioning as well as O&M procedures.
Offshore wind specialists in Europe are under constant scrutiny as they attempt to achieve relatively shorter construction periods with new projects that are coming online. In this context, the role of the chosen port and vessel technology is of paramount importance.