New Corporate Players Could Power Stronger Growth in Wind Energy

Oil and utility companies announce series of major investments in wind power.

Published: 15-Mar-2002

WASHINGTON, -- As the U.S. Senate continues consideration of national energy legislation, the American wind energy industry is poised to continue building on 2001 -- its most successful year in history -- and is the focus of growing interest by major players in the energy field, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

The industry is receiving a boost not only from the recent two-year extension of the federal wind energy production tax credit (PTC), which was signed into law March 9, but from a series of announcements by utilities, oil companies, and other firms that they see wind energy in their future. Wind energy supporters are hopeful that with a further three-year extension of the PTC included in the Senate energy bill, the industry will at last have a stable financial environment and the serious corporate participation needed to put it on the road to steady long-term growth.

Among recent industry developments, AWEA said, are the following:

"This string of announcements by major energy corporations is rapidly changing the face of the wind energy business," said Randall Swisher, AWEA executive director. "Coming on the heels of the industry's most successful year, in the U.S. and worldwide, it signals that wind energy is moving into the big leagues. AWEA estimates that with continued government encouragement and broad utility support, wind energy will provide at least six percent of the nation's electricity by 2020."

AWEA, formed in 1974, is the national trade association of the U.S. wind energy industry. The association's membership includes turbine manufacturers, wind project developers, utilities, academicians, and interested individuals. More information on wind energy is available at the AWEA web site: http://www.awea.org .

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