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U.S. Leads In Wind Power Production

Although the Congress’ failure to extend the production tax credit for the renewable energy industry threatens to slowdown further development, U.S. wind capacity for 2008 is still expected to increase by 7,500MW or up 45 percent from a year ago, according to the American Wind Energy Association, Environmental Finance reports.

America is now the leader in wind electricity generation with total installed wind power capacity at about 19,600 MW, up about 2,700 MW from end of 2007, according to AWEA’s second quarter 2008 market report.

Although Germany has installed generating capacity of about 23,000 MW, AWEA says the U.S. produces more electricity because of stronger winds.

The AWEA also reported that there are at least 41 new or expanded facilities in wind turbine and wind turbine component manufacturing over the past 18 months, creating more than 9,000 jobs when operating at full capacity. However, AWEA says uncertainty about the production tax credit still threatens domestic investment.

In wind-power related news, GE Energy Financial Services announced this week that it’s partnering with ACCIONA to invest $141 million in the Tatanka Wind Farm on the North Dakota-South Dakota border.

Using 120 ACCIONA 1.5 megawatt turbines, the farm will provide enough electricity to power more than 60,000 average homes and avoid more than 550,000 tons of GHG emissions a year, compared to equivalent fossil fuel generation. That’s equivalent to taking 90,000 cars off the road.

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