U.S. Wind Turbine Manufacturing: Federal Support for an Emerging Industry [September 23, 2011]   [open pdf - 710KB]

From the Summary: "Increasing U.S. energy supply diversity has been the goal of many Presidents and Congresses. This commitment has been prompted by concerns about national security, the environment, and the U.S. balance of payments. More recently, investments in new energy sources have been seen as a way to expand domestic manufacturing. For all of these reasons, the federal government has a variety of policies to promote wind power. Expanding the use of wind energy requires installation of wind turbines. These are complex machines composed of some 8,000 components, created from basic industrial materials such as steel, aluminum, concrete, and fiberglass. Major components in a wind turbine include the rotor blades, a nacelle and controls (the heart and brain of a wind turbine), a tower, and other parts such as large bearings, transformers, gearboxes, and generators. Turbine manufacturing involves an extensive supply chain. Until recently, Europe has been the hub for turbine production, supported by national renewable energy deployment policies in countries such as Denmark, Germany, and Spain. Competitive wind turbine manufacturing sectors are also located in India and Japan and are emerging in China and South Korea. […] A variety of federal laws and policies has encouraged both wind energy production and the use of U.S.-made equipment to generate that energy. Some of these policies are subject to change at the end of 2011, and others are scheduled to expire in 2012. Future decisions about these policies will affect the extent to which wind turbine manufacturing becomes an important industrial sector in the United States."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R42023
Public Domain
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