While the industry worked to accelerate shovel-ready projects in 2009 and installed over 10,000 MW, the continued lack of long-term market signals, combined with low power demand and price, has allowed the pipeline for advanced projects to slow over the past 18 months, according to AWEA.
AWEA has called on Congress to put in place a strong national renewable electricity standard (RES) as part of comprehensive climate and energy legislation to provide the hard targets needed to stabilize the industry.
‘Financing wind projects is an 18-month process, and the struggles in 2009 to raise new capital, combined with lack of new demand from utilities, are now surfacing in the market and are reflected in project installations,’ says Denise Bode, AWEA's CEO. ‘Minimal new installations and current announcements for project delays or downgrades in 2010 are the consequences of inaction to provide a serious market signal. With swift action today, wind project development can be nimble and ramp up quickly, creating new domestic manufacturing orders.’
According to a recent national poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and Bennett, Petts & Normington, a bipartisan team of pollsters, an RES is politically popular among U.S. voters, with support seen across party lines, with 65% of Republican voters, 69% of Independents and 92% of Democrats favoring the legislation.