New Numbers Show Wind Had a Dismal Quarter

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Friday, October 29, 2010 at 2:56 pm

New data released today say the United States is falling far behind Europe and China in wind turbine installation — further evidence, wind advocates say, that Congress must enact policies to incentivize wind production.

The numbers, reported by the American Wind Energy Association, indicate that the third quarter of 2010 was the worst since 2007 for the industry. In total this year, the industry has installed 1,634 megawatts of electric generating capacity, the lowest since 2006.

At the same time, the numbers show that coal outstripped wind in new installed capacity this year. According to an AWEA statement:

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration and other third-party sources show that wind accounted for 39 percent of new installed capacity in 2009, versus 13 percent from coal; in the first nine months of 2010, however, the ratio flipped, and wind accounted for only 14 percent, versus 39 percent from coal.

AWEA President Densie Bode called on Congress to pass a renewable energy standard, which would require that a certain percentage of the country’s electricity come from renewable sources like wind and solar. Though an RES has picked up a number of Republican supporters in the last month, it’s unclear when such a proposal will come up for a vote in the Senate.

Here’s an graph from the report that sums things up nicely:

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