Editors Desk

Our gut reaction right now should be denial. There just can’t be a logical explanation that the U.S. wind energy industry installed only 1,084 MW of capacity in 2013.


Of course, the denial would then likely give way to anger—possibly even rage—toward Congress for dragging its heels on the PTC renewal. 

Shortly, we’d realize that there’s really no sense in getting angry. After all, we should have anticipated this happening. It’s regrettable, but it’s already been done.

But what if it doesn’t get better, we ponder as we begin to slide into a deep, dark well of depression. Will there ever be another 2012?

Finally, after coming to grips with the reality of our situation, we would pick ourselves up by the boot straps and return to regularly scheduled programming.

Oddly enough, none of that happened.

Did we somehow transcend the stages of grief and move directly into a period of acceptance and renewal?

I hope, dear reader, you have come to the conclusion that my tongue is pressed firmly in my cheek.

Clearly, we cannot apply the stages of human grief to our industry. But that doesn’t mean the sentiment is necessarily lost. We as individuals or companies acted out all of these stages concurrently as we were awaiting the PTC renewal.

Upon renewal, we instantly moved to the “acceptance” stage, for the sole reason that we had no other option. We were short on time, and there was work that needed to be done.

That was precisely what this industry did—go to work.

At the end of 2013 there are more than 12 GW of wind projects underway in the U.S. Nearly 11 GW of those projects began in the fourth quarter of last year.  By comparison, the total capacity installed during the U.S. wind industry’s record-shattering performance in 2012 was just over 13 GW.

Our industry followed one record-breaking year with another record-breaking year. That may sound like an eternal optimist clawing at a silver lining, but it’s important to consider the resiliency and focus that this industry possesses—particularly at crunch time. We’ve proven time and time again that we have the fast-twitch muscles that make the sprint possible.

The philosophy behind Wind Systems’ recently adopted tagline—”Giving Wind Direction”—illustrates our desire to push for long-term growth and sustainability for this industry. With Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) taking the helm of the Senate Finance Committee, the industry may have found an ally in developing long-term incentives and policy for the industry. However, one Senator alone cannot pass legislation. There is never any guarantee of a PTC renwal.

Let us then proceed with a guarded optimism—prepared to start building the endurance in our slow-twitch fibers.

Thanks for reading!