The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) says wind power installations in 2010 have dropped more than 70 percent from last year's levels. Companies added 700 megawatts of wind power in the second quarter of the year, and manufacturing investment is also lower than the previous year's levels. The organization is now asking Congress to establish and renewable electricity standard to re-charge demand for renewable energy.
"Strong federal policy supporting the U.S. wind energy industry has never been more important," said AWEA CEO Denise Bode. "We have an historic opportunity to build a major new manufacturing industry. Without strong, supportive policy like an RES to spur demand, investment, and jobs, manufacturing facilities will go idle and lay off workers if Congress doesn't act now - before time runs out this session."
AWEA predicts that 2010 installations will be 25 percent to 45 percent below last year's levels. Beyond 2010, the association projects that the wind industry could take a hard tumble without government help. There are currently 5,500 megawatts of wind power projects under construction, but few new projects after those are completed.