Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Vital Windmill Sector

We've learned that they're running out of wind in Britain. Here in America, wind power remains inefficient and intermittent. And with the air going out of new installations, the windmill lobby has joined the queue for government handouts, according to the American Wind Energy Association:
At year’s end, . . . financing for new projects and orders for turbine components slowed to a trickle and layoffs began to hit the wind turbine manufacturing sector.

"Our numbers are both exciting and sobering," said AWEA CEO Denise Bode. "The U.S. wind energy industry’s performance in 2008 confirms that wind is an economic and job creation dynamo, ready to deliver on the President’s call to double renewable energy production in three years. At the same time, it is clear that the economic and financial downturn have begun to take a serious toll on new wind development. We are already seeing layoffs in the area where wind’s promise is greatest for our economy: the wind power manufacturing sector. Quick action in the stimulus bill is vital to restore the industry’s momentum and create jobs as we help make our country more secure and leave a more stable climate for our children." . . .

About 85,000 people are employed in the wind industry today, up from 50,000 a year ago, and hold jobs in areas as varied as turbine component manufacturing, construction and installation of wind turbines, wind turbine operations and maintenance, legal and marketing services, and more. About 8,000 of these jobs are construction jobs, and a significant number of those will be lost in 2009 if financing for the pipeline of new projects is not quickly restored.
As Planet Gore's Drew Thornley says:
An industry whose growth is propelled by large, taxpayer-funded subsidies cannot keep speeding down the tracks if the public funds dry up. Yet we're told almost daily that alternative energy will supposedly be an economic engine, with green jobs aplenty. Having been created by government mandates, the industry now cannot be sustained without them.
The Democrats are wrestling reason to the ground. The logic behind their stimulus package is: Business Down? Bail It Out! Never mind that funding dead-end and intrusive inefficiency won't do the energy sector, or America's economy, any good.

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