The U.S. Wind energy industry brought online more than 8,500 MW of new wind power capacity in 2008, increasing the nation's cumulative total to over 25,300 MW and catapulting the U.S. ahead of Germany as the nation with the largest amount of installed wind power capacity. It is projected that by 2030 about 20 percent of the United States' electricity will be generated by wind. Importantly, the 2008 projects are responsible for a massive reduction in carbon emissions - nearly 44 million tons - which is the equivalent of taking more than seven million cars off the road!
A stable governmental policy environment will help to encourage investment in wind equipment production facilities. In the past two years alone, wind turbine and turbine component manufacturers located or expanded 70+ facilities in the United States. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was signed into law by President Obama on Feb. 17, 2009, includes a three-year extension of the production tax credit (PTC) as well as a new program that allows renewable energy developers to forego the PTC and instead secure a Treasury grant equal to 30 percent of the investment tax credit (itc).