Expert Explains Wind Energy Parts Shortage

John Davis

While wind energy has been a very promising energy source with unprecedented growth in the last few years. Unfortunately, that growth has led to a shortage of the parts needed to make the turbines and keep them turning.

awea.jpgThis article on the Renewable Energy Access web page features American Wind Energy Association Communications Editor Carl Levesque answering what is causing the problem. It boils down to the huge demand for parts and raw materials common to other industries:

(Y)ou need parts and raw materials to assemble turbines, and the shortage—both in the U.S. and worldwide—is largely due to a shortage in components, as the Wall Street Journal article correctly explained. It’s important to remember that many of the parts and materials used by the industry are also used by other industries.

“The global market is more than just turbines,” said Clipper Windpower Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations Robert Gates during a panel discussion at AWEA’s WINDPOWER 2007 Conference & Exhibition, which took place in June in Los Angeles, California. “We’re competing against the basic industrial capacity of the world.”

Levesque points out that the industry is very demanding of the level of quality, and good parts can’t be rushed. But he says the future is still bright… the parts just need to catch up with the demand.