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News from AWEA: Wind power can create thousands of manufacturing jobs in hard-hit states

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  • Tom Gray
    American Wind Energy Association - www.awea.org FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 13, 2004 CONTACT: Christine Real de Azua (202) 383-2508 WIND POWER DEVELOPMENT
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 13, 2004
      American Wind Energy Association - www.awea.org

      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 13, 2004

      CONTACT: Christine Real de Azua (202) 383-2508


      Over 16,000 companies in 50 states have technical potential to seize part
      of growing wind turbine manufacturing business

      Boosting U.S. wind energy installations to approximately eight times
      today's levels could create 150,000 manufacturing jobs nationwide, with
      most jobs being added in the 20 states that have lost the most over the
      past three years, according to a report released today by the Renewable
      Energy Policy Project (REPP).

      According to REPP, some 90 companies in 25 states currently manufacture
      wind turbine components, and over 16,000 companies in all 50 states have
      the technical potential to enter the wind turbine market.

      "Wind energy is already a boon for communities across the American
      heartland, and could become an important source of manufacturing jobs
      nationwide, including in some areas that have been hardest hit by job
      losses," said AWEA Executive Director Randall Swisher. "The stunning
      figures from this first systematic study of wind energys job creation
      potential in the U.S. demonstrate that clean, safe, domestic wind energy
      can also bring manufacturing jobs back to the states that need them most."

      Wind energy installations have grown threefold over the past five years in
      the U.S., from under 2,000 megawatts (MW) at the end of 1998 to over 6,000
      MW at the end of 2003, and wind farms now generate enough electricity to
      power the equivalent of 1.6 million average U.S. households. REPP sought to
      estimate the possible extent and location of manufacturing activities that
      could result from an expansion to 50,000 MW which would pump $50 billion
      worth of investment into the economy and generate enough electricity to
      power 14 to 15 million households (3% of U.S. electricity supply).

      "The results of our study indicate that a significant national investment
      in wind has clear potential to benefit the entire country economically with
      tens of thousands of new jobs created and billions of dollars in economic
      activity," said REPP Director George Sterzinger. "However, capturing that
      potential and creating a competitive domestic manufacturing industry in the
      face of international competition is likely to require additional incentives."

      The study first identified companies currently active in manufacturing wind
      turbine components, such as ball and roller bearings, gearboxes,
      generators, transformers, power electronics, blades, towers, and more. Such
      manufacturers are currently spread out over 25 states including some that
      have recently experienced the largest number of job losses, such as
      California, Ohio, Texas, Michigan, and Illinois, and some of the least
      windy, such as Louisiana.

      In a second step, using the North American Industrial Classification System
      (NAICS) codes for 20 basic wind turbine components, the study found that
      16,163 firms are engaged in manufacturing activities related to those
      required to produce wind turbine components. These firms are spread over
      every one of the 50 states. The 20 states that could benefit the most,
      according to the survey, could reap over 120,000 jobs, or 80% of the jobs
      created. These 20 states also harbor 75% of total U.S. population and
      account for 76% of the manufacturing jobs lost in the last 3 ½ years. They
      include California, Ohio, Texas, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and

      The recent announcement that Gamesa, a leading global manufacturer of wind
      turbines, will open its U.S. headquarters and a manufacturing facility in
      the state of Pennsylvania is a case in point, according to Sterzinger. The
      announcement also highlights the importance of additional incentives to
      capture wind energys job creation potential. "The decision by Gamesa to
      open a facility in Pennsylvania shows that state and local authorities have
      a role to play in attracting investment," said Sterzinger. "Governor Edward
      Rendell has made it clear that his state is keen on welcoming advanced,
      renewable energy development, and as a result, it is claiming a slice of
      the growing wind energy business."

      The REPP study focused on jobs that could be created in manufacturing, and
      did not quantify the job creation that would also flow into other sectors
      such as construction, transportation, marketing, financial and other services.

      A Word copy of the release including a table of job and investment
      potential in the top 20 states is attached.

      The full report is available on the REPP Web site at

      # # #

      AWEA, formed in 1974, is the national trade association of the U.S. wind
      energy industry. The association's membership includes turbine
      manufacturers, wind project developers, utilities, academicians, and
      interested individuals. More information on wind energy is available from
      the home page of the AWEA web site: www.awea.org
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