The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

Stimulus Suspension Would Put 85,000 Wind Jobs at Risk

AWEA and the wind energy industry reacted strongly to an initiative by four Senators that would suspend crucial renewable energy development incentives in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that the industry views as a huge success and a lifeline in the economic crisis.

The four Senators—Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Bob Casey (D-Penn.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) — on Wednesday urged the Obama Administration to suspend the U.S. Treasury grant program (offered in lieu of the production tax credit and investment tax credit) indefinitely because of concerns that some of the funds may be going to foreign companies. But the notion is completely erroneous, said AWEA, which pointed out that by law stimulus funds must be spent in the U.S. — and that the dollars being invested in the wind industry are creating and sustaining jobs at wind projects across the country.

Suspending the program, in fact, would have a highly negative effect on U.S. jobs, AWEA said. “At a time when the construction unemployment rate is nearly 25% and the manufacturing unemployment rate is 13%, this proposal could cost 85,000 American workers their jobs,” AWEA CEO Denise Bode said in a statement. “This proposal would torpedo one of the most successful job creation efforts of the Recovery Act, which has already preserved half of the 85,000 American jobs in the U.S. wind industry.”

The U.S. Department of Energy also responded with deep concern. “Other countries are not pressing the pause button on clean energy industries, and they will move quickly to capture America’s share of the global market while we sit on the sidelines,” said DOE Press Secretary Stephanie Mueller, explaining that every dollar in the program helps put Americans to work. “The longer we delay, the longer we remain dependent on foreign oil instead of America’s homegrown, clean energy resources.”

Beyond the jobs created directly at U.S. wind power projects, over half of the components in wind turbines deployed in the U.S. are built here, and that percentage continues to rise as the U.S. has implemented incentive policies reflecting at least a short-term commitment to renewables. As AWEA has said repeatedly, to achieve even more significant job creation within the U.S. wind power supply chain, long-term policy certainty is needed—specifically, a national renewable electricity standard.

“Rather than adopt policies that will kill American jobs, Congress should enact policies that will create jobs by encouraging manufacturers to invest in U.S. plants,” said Bode. “That means passing a renewable electricity standard now.”

Bode, who spent the better part of the week reaching out to the media (she spoke on CNBC, for example) to set the record straight, continued, “The Recovery Act has been creating jobs by helping finance new American wind energy projects that have broken ground or been completed since the Act was passed. The proposed moratorium and legislation would kill this effort and destroy the momentum for one of the few industries that has been creating jobs and economic growth.

“It is unfortunate that the proponents of this moratorium and legislation are using a deeply flawed study as the basis for a policy that would destroy tens of thousands of American jobs.

“We support the goal of continuing the rapid expansion of U.S. wind manufacturing. More than half of the value of wind turbines used in U.S. wind projects is domestically produced, and that percentage is increasing every year as more turbine makers build U.S. manufacturing capability.  We do not have the capability today to produce 100% of wind turbine components in the U.S., but we can grow our manufacturing base and add 274,000 American jobs if Congress passes a strong Renewable Electricity Standard.”

RELATED ARTICLES

Renewable energy jobs

Global Renewable Energy Employment Surges 18 Percent to 7.7 Million

Andrew Burger, Correspondent Ongoing growth in renewable energy investment and deployment is creating jobs worldwide — and lots of them. This job growth is helping governments address a fundamental economic problem plaguing developed and developing cou...
GE Digital Wind Farm

GE Introduces Digital Wind Farm that Could Boost Production 20 Percent, Re-ignites Alstom Buyout Talk

Meg Cichon, Associate Editor General Electric (GE) is pushing its wind farms to join the big data revolution with its new Digital Wind Farm, announced this week at Windpower 2015 in Orlando, Fla. amidst talk that its $15 billion offer to buy Alstom’s p...
Wind turbine

Bigger Wind Turbine Towers = Bigger US Development Opportunity

Meg Cichon, Associate Editor Wind energy already accounts for about 5 percent of U.S. electricity generation, which crowned the nation as the global leader in wind production late last year. There is now more than 65 gigawatts (GW) of capacit...
Wind turbines

Wind Energy Is Crucial in the Fight Against Climate Change, Says US Energy Secretary

Meg Cichon, Associate Editor

The opening general session at Windpower 2015 marked the first appearance by an U.S. energy secretary at the show, “which is surprising,” said current energy secretary Ernest Moniz, “but better late than never.”

Carl is Editor & Publications Manager at the American Wind Energy Association, where has worked since 2006. At AWEA he oversees AWEA's online and print publications including the Wind Energy Weekly, Windpower Update, and other products. He has wor...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 3
1505REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Doing Business in Brazil – in partnership with GWEC, the Global Win...

Brazil is one of the most promising markets for wind energy.  Ranke...

Renewables and Mining Summit and Exhibition

African mining leaders are seriously exploring new energy solutions to s...

JuiceBox Energy Certified Installer Class

JuiceBox Energy is reapidly building out its national certified installe...

COMPANY BLOGS

SunEdison Expands Residential Market Offerings with New PPA, Sales ...

SunEdison has largely focussed on the commercial and utility-scale solar...

Are You Ready for a Natural Disaster?

Guest post by Jenna Clarke  Living in the Shenandoah Valley of Virg...

Deadline for Inclusion in Solar Power World's Top Solar Contractors...

UPDATE: The official deadline for the Solar Power World T...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS