NewEnergyNews: WIND’S SUPPLY CHAIN DANGLES

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    Thursday, August 16, 2012

    WIND’S SUPPLY CHAIN DANGLES

    U.S. Wind Tower And Blade Manufacturers Face Uncertain Future

    Laura DiMugno, 9 August 2012 (North American Windpower)

    “The U.S. wind energy industry is already reeling as a result of the production tax credit's (PTC) uncertain future, and the impact has been the most severe on…[s]upply-chain participants - especially wind turbine tower, blade and nacelle manufacturers – [which] continue to experience financial troubles…[that] could have a negative ripple effect on the entire U.S. wind industry.

    “…[W]ind tower manufacturer Broadwind Energy just reported a $4.2 million loss for the second quarter…[T]he tower segment of its business… has continued to hamper its earnings results…U.S. wind tower manufacturers…have faced stiff competition from their Chinese counterparts. Last month, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) issued a preliminary ruling in favor of the Wind Tower Trade Coalition - a group of U.S. producers of utility-scale wind towers that includes Broadwind, DMI Industries, Trinity Structural Towers and Katana Summit - that utility-scale wind turbine towers made in China and Vietnam were illegally dumped into the U.S…”

    “…[T]he damage may already be done…[O]ther U.S. manufacturers are shifting their production away from wind towers…Trinity Industries said it was planning to…[shift to] the oil, gas and chemicals industries…Otter Tail Corp…[is] selling wind tower manufacturer DMI Industries…[W] ind turbine blade manufacturers LM Wind Power…plans to lay off over 200 employees…

    “…[To] prevent further damage throughout the rest of the U.S. wind energy industry, there needs to be an overhaul and restructuring of the supply-chain landscape…[S]trong business planning will also help shield component suppliers from increased risk and prevent a ripple effect…[A]ftermarket services, raw-material innovation and an overall reduction in the cost of energy will all be critical…Failure to take these steps could have devastating effects on the future of the U.S. wind energy industry…”

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