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United States

GE marks ten years in wind

UNITED STATES: The US's largest turbine manufacturer GE now has a total of 28GW of installed capacity globally, with 2.75GW alone of its new cutting-edge 1.6-100 low-wind turbines in operation.

The company’s vice president for renewables, Vic Abate, revealed the figures at the AWEA Windpower 2012 conference in Atlanta in a press conference to mark the company’s first ten years in the wind industry.

Because the US market will contract sharply in 2013, Abate said that more than half of all GE’s turbine orders in the last two years had been from outside the US.

The market is expected to dip sharply because of uncertainty over US energy policy, especially over expiration of the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC).

GE’s turbine order book for the first half of 2013 is full, Abate said. "It’s just not full for the US," he added.

Even if there is a one-year extension of the PTC beyond December 31, Abate said that GE’s US sales volume in 2013 will still be "substantially lower".

Sales elsewhere, such as in the fast-growing market of Brazil, have been pushed forward into 2013 to accommodate the boom-bust USA, he said.

GE’s global wind revenues have been $4.5 billion a year on average, but that this year they will be as high as $7.5 billion, he said.

This year’s boom is because companies are trying to get as many as possible in the ground in the US in case the tax credit ends.

Abate concluded that wind would become one of the top three sources of power generation globally – along with natural gas and coal. On average, he predicted wind would be the second most preferred after natural gas.

GE entered wind by buying Enron Wind in 2002.

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