Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It really is windy

The American wind belt run from Texas up to the Dakotas. Last year, America has overtook Germany to become the world's largest wind power generator. Wind energy accounts for 42% of the new energy generating capacity in the US. Unfortunately, like many industries in the US, the growth of the wind generating industry has slowed down a bit from 2008 where it had grown by 50% compared to this year's growth of 20%.

What happened is that creating wind energy requires a lot of upfront capital. The credit crunch and economic down turn has shrunk the availability for this capital. In addition, the wind industry is having problems getting various local, states and federal authorities to set up power lines to transmit this wind energy. In fact, the biggest wind energy promoter, T. Boone Pickens, just called off plans to build the world's largest wind farm because he could not get the transmissions lines.

However, it is not all negative. Government stimulus and funding is helping to support the growth in this industry. In addition, legislation that would require energy company's to obtain a certain percentage of its power from alternative sources, such as wind, will help states commit to build these transmissions lines. There is great growth opportunity considering that 2% of US electricity is generated by wind and there is a lot of untapped resources out there to harness this energy. Keep any eye out on the weather report for more windy days, which could be a good thing for your utility bill.

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