With the Production Tax Credit in place the wind industry should be in for a prosperous year, according to the U.S. Wind Industry Fourth Quarter 2013 Market Report recently published by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Washington, D.C.
AWEA said the record growth for wind energy at the end of 2013 resulted not only from the extension of the Production Tax Credit (which provides up-front tax relief of 2.3 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first 10 years of a project), but also from investments in technological advancements that have driven down the cost of wind energy by 43% in just four years. Highlights from the U.S. Wind Industry Fourth Quarter 2013 Market Report include:
- At the end of 2013 there were more U.S. wind power megawatts (MW) under construction than ever in history: Over 12,000 MW of new generating capacity was under construction, with a record-breaking 10,900 MW starting construction activity during the fourth quarter. The wind projects under construction could power the equivalent of 3.5 million American homes, or all the households in Iowa, Oklahoma and Kansas.
- A record number of long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) were signed in 2013. At least 60 PPAs for nearly 8,000 MW were signed by utilities and corporate purchasers, of which 5,200 MW have not yet started construction.
- Some of the states poised for major growth in wind energy in coming years include Texas, Iowa, Kansas, North Dakota, and Michigan. There are now over 5,600 MW of turbine orders placed, with major manufacturing facilities active in places such as Colorado, Kansas, Iowa and South Dakota.
- U.S. manufacturing production capacity has ramped up dramatically, and the largest turbine order in history of the U.S. wind industry was placed in the 4Q 2013.