Wind Industry Highlights

Latest news from AWEA's WINDPOWER 2014 Conference & Exhibition (May 6-8, Las Vega, NV, USA) and other top stories related to composites in wind energy.

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AWEA CEO Outlines Strategy To Get Wind PTC Extended
Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA, Washington, D.C.) updated conference attendees on the status of the expired production tax credit (PTC) during the opening general session at AWEA's WINDPOWER 2014 Conference & Exhibition (May 6-8, Las Vega, NV, USA). He explained that the PTC spurs wind development, and without stable policy, development comes to a standstill. In 2013, thanks to uncertainty about the PTC, U.S. wind installations totaled only 1,087 MW, a 92 percent drop from the 2012 total of 13,131 MW. Kiernan heralded good news in that the PTC is included in the EXPIRE Act, a tax extenders package that recently passed in  committee and is scheduled to be voted on by the Senate. The bill would allow wind energy developers to qualify for the PTC or investment tax credit if construction is started by the end of 2015.

GE Notes 3.9 GW Of U.S. Orders Since PTC Extension
Last year started off slow due to the uncertainty caused by the late production tax credit (PTC) extension, but GE Wind Energy (Schenectady, N.Y., USA) says it has secured a cumulative 3.9 GW of firm and unconditional wind turbine supply orders in the U.S. since Jan. 1, 2013 - the date the incentive was revived  by Congress. Of these orders, 1.1 GW was placed into service in 2013. The remaining 2.8 GW will be commissioned or begin construction by the end of 2015.

Siemens AG Reveals Shakeup Plan To Streamline Business
The Munich, Germany-based organization has announced its Vision 2020 strategy to streamline and restructure its operations. As of Oct. 1,  Siemens will bundle its business into nine divisions instead of the current 16 and focus more on growth fields in electrification, automation and digitalization. Siemens has created a new Wind Power and Renewables division and named the current CEO of wind power, Markus Tacke, to head up the new division. In its announcement, Siemens specifically pointed to offshore wind as a “growth field,” and said it is aiming for a profit margin of 5  to 8 percent for the new division starting in fiscal 2015.

GE Demonstrates Blade Extension Program In New York
GE Wind Energy (Schenectady, N.Y., USA) has announced the demonstration of it blade extension technology, adding seven meters to transform its wind turbines with a 77m diameter rotor to 91m in diameter. The company says this extension increases the swept area of the rotor by 40 percent and increases energy production by more than 20 percent. Currently, two prototypes have been in operation for 10 months, both completed with Noble Environmental Power (Essec, Conn., USA) at the Clinton Wind Park in New York.

For more information on these and other wind energy stories, visit North American Windpower.