Sunday, January 22, 2012
Making Way For Bigger Turbines
New Hampshire, USA -- They stand as looming testaments to innovation, growing ever more prominent and powerful. Yet for much of 2011, wind installations remained somewhat obscured, eclipsed by the media storm surrounding the solar industry.
The truth of the matter is, however, that the wind industry bounced back from a disappointing 2010 with a surge in both installations and sales. The wind industry quietly and methodically continues to forge ahead, and today it dominates the renewable energy landscape in new installations.
Through October (the most recent numbers available by press time), the wind industry placidly posted three strong quarters behind a steady drop in prices and the realization that Congress may not extend the Production Tax Credit (PTC) past its December 2012 expiration date. According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), through the first three quarters of 2011, the wind industry installed 29 wind farms larger in total capacity than the biggest solar project installed during that same period.
With the wind industry eager to continue its momentum with or without the PTC, two things are clear: turbines must get bigger and engineers must work to drive down costs. It’s a proven formula that’s paying dividends beyond the traditional stronghold of the Midwest, as the technology becomes a bigger part of the landscape in places like New York, Massachusetts and Maine.