Installed Wind Energy Grew Quickly in 2011

Wind turbines and turbine blades are growing larger, as well. The new DOE report says about $14 billion of wind capacity was added in the United States in 2011.

A new "Wind Technologies Market Report" from the U.S. Department of Energy shows how quickly the installation of wind energy equipment progressed in the United States during 2011 -– about 6.4 GW of new capacity worth $14 billion was added, with wind installations being 31 percent above the previous year but down from higher levels in 2008 and 2009.

China is installing wind energy even faster, which means the U.S. ranks second in capacity additions and in cumulative capacity, with nearly 20 percent of the world's total capacity, according to the report. The Chinese thirst for wind power has been obvious to those watching announcements by Vestas, Gamesa, and other international manufacturers.

DOE posted a map showing wind energy manufacturing sites in the United States, and it shows they are scattered throughout the country.

Wind turbine construction and maintenance involves confined space and fall protection challenges. These challenges will increase because manufacturers are racing to make turbines and blades ever larger to increase their production. Siemens, for one, announced in August 2012 that it has built the world's largest rotor blades -- they are 75 meters long -- for a Danish offshore installation. The 75-meter blades are part of a 154-meter rotor that "must withstand huge air masses" and wind speeds often at meters per second, with the tips of the blades moving at up to 180 mph, according to Siemens, and the fiberglass blade is as much as 20 percent lighter than rotor blades produced with conventional methods.

The DOE report also says the percentage of wind equipment made in America increased dramatically during 2011, so that nearly 70 percent of the equipment installed at U.S. wind farms last year came from domestic manufacturers. The comparable figure in 2005 was only 35 percent.

"This report shows that America can lead the world in the global race to manufacture and deploy clean energy technologies," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "The wind industry employs tens of thousands of American workers and has played a key role in helping to more than double wind power over the last four years. To ensure that this industry continues to stay competitive, President Obama has called on Congress to extend the successful clean energy tax credits, which are benefitting businesses and manufacturers nationwide."

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Safety Management Software - Free Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Software’s comprehensive suite of modules help organizations to record and manage incidents, inspections, hazards, behavior based safety observations, and much more. Improve safety with an easy to use tool for tracking, notifying and reporting on key safety data.

  • Create Flexible Safety Dashboards

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations allows you to easily create and view safety KPIs to help you make informed business decisions. Our best of breed default indicators can also save you valuable time and effort in monitoring safety metrics.

  • Schedule and Record Observations

    IndustrySafe's Observations module allows managers, supervisors, and employees to conduct observations on employees involved in safety critical behavior. IndustrySafe’s pre-built BBS checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Why Is Near Miss Reporting Important?

    A near miss is an accident that's waiting to happen. Learn how to investigate these close calls and prevent more serious incidents from occurring in the future.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to Safety Training

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common FAQs.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - June 2019

    June 2019

    Featuring:

    • ASSP SAFETY 2019 PREVIEW
      New Orleans Networking
    • NATION SAFETY MONTH
      Heed These Summer Safety Tips
    • TRAINING
      Education, Skill Development, and Behavior Change
    • SAFETY MANAGEMENT
      What Good Looks Like
    View This Issue

Bulwark Quiz