Wind Power

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 100 companies in the US use wind power to drive a turbine and produce electric energy, which is provided to electric power transmission systems or electric power distribution systems. Utility-scale turbines are generally defined as turbines that exceed 100KW in capacity, but typically range from 1.5 to 7.5MW. Wind energy accounts for about 8.4% of total US electricity generation and about 55.6% of electricity generation from renewable energy, according to the EIA.

“NIMBY” Opposition

Wind farms often face opposition from local residents concerned about noise, aesthetic impacts, and harm to bird populations.

Dependence on Government Support

Wind power has benefited from federal production tax credits (PTC) during the first 10 years of production and investment tax credits (ITC).

Industry size & Structure

The average wind electric power generator employs about 54-55 workers and generates about $75 million annually.

    • The wind electric power generator industry consists of about 100 firms that employ about 5,600 workers and generate almost $8 billion annually.
    • The industry is highly concentrated; the top eight companies account for 84% of industry revenue.
    • Large firms include Clearway Energy, Energy Capital Partners, and Caithness Energy.
    • Large owners of wind capacity include NextEra Energy, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Avangrid, and EDP.
    • Wind energy accounts for about 8.4% of total US electricity generation and about 55.6% of electricity generation from renewable energy, according to the EIA.
    • More than 56,000 land-based wind turbines operate across 42 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico and represent more than 105.6 gigawatts of energy capacity.
    • Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Kansas, and California produced about 58% of total U.S. wind electricity generation in 2020.
    • Alta Wind Energy Center in California is the world’s second-largest wind farm generating 1,548 MW of electricity. Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island was the US’ first offshore wind farm.
                              Industry Forecast
                              Wind Power Industry Growth
                              Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                              Recent Developments

                              Mar 7, 2023 - More Workers Needed to Meet Offshore Wind Goals
                              • The nascent US offshore wind industry does not yet have enough skilled workers in the pipeline to meet the Biden administration’s goal of having 30 gigawatts of offshore wind generation capacity installed by 2030, according to recent remarks by Jeremy Stefek, a researcher at the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The NREL suggests that training and apprenticeship programs could help bring more people into the industry, but building the programs and training the workers would take several years. To meet near-term labor needs, the NREL said offshore wind projects could recruit workers in adjacent industries, such as offshore oil and gas.
                              • Officials with the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Loan Programs Office have cautioned that private developer and financier focus on individual offshore wind projects could slow deployment plans, according to Utility Dive. The DOE reports that thinking in terms of individual offshore wind projects can lead developers to favor radial transmission lines instead of more modern and efficient grid technology, such as mesh-style networks of high-voltage direct current lines.
                              • To meet the Biden administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind capacity by 2030, the US will have to invest $22.4 billion to build at least 32 new manufacturing facilities, according to a report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Business Network for Offshore Wind. The US currently lacks enough manufacturing capability to build offshore wind components such as towers and blades and doesn’t have enough of the specialized marine vessels used in offshore wind installations. The US will need to rely on imports to meet its 2030 goals, but those supplies may be constrained as Europe and Asia are also struggling to ramp up manufacturing capacity to meet their offshore wind ambitions.
                              • Despite strong interest from investors and powerful government incentives, chiefly the Inflation Reduction Act, wind and solar projects are having trouble getting off the ground, according to The Wall Street Journal. Several headwinds have slowed projects, including ongoing supply chain disruptions, extended wait times to connect to the grid, and numerous regulatory and political obstacles. According to estimates by the Solar Energy Industries Association and consulting firm Wood Mackenzie, wind capacity additions in 2022 were down 77.5% from 2021.
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