A new report out today says the U.S. wind industry is on pace to set a record for energy production this year.
This story from the Wall Street Journal’s Marketwatch.com web site says the industry put in 1,400 megawatts of new generating capacity in the first quarter of this year ending March 21:
If the pace continues, a total of 5,600 megawatts of generating power will be installed in 2008, eclipsing the record of 5,300 megawatts, according to figures from the American Wind Energy Association.
The new wind power plans installed in the first quarter of this year produce enough electricity to serve the equivalent of 400,000 homes.
AWEA Executive Director Randall Swisher said he expects a big swell of projects to go on line by the fourth quarter as utilities and others hedge against the possibility that the production tax credit expires by the end of the year with no renewal from a divided Congress.
The AWEA maintains that 76,000 jobs and more than $11.5 billion in investment could be at risk if the measure doesn’t pass.
The article goes on to say that while land-based wind farms will continue to make up a large part of the growth, off-shore wind turbines will become more and more attractive to companies looking to harness the power of the wind.