Don't Expect Manufacturing Wind Turbines To Save Your Local Economy

With the economy running on fumes, many people are looking at the renewable energy sector–in particular, building big wind turbines–as the most promising way to restart the U.S. manufacturing sector. Unfortunately, manufacturing turbines isn’t a recession proof indsutry.

More troubling though, for green collar job advocates, it’s not even an industry that’s protected from being outsourced to other parts of the world. While turbines appear to be massive installations, there’s nothing that prevents the parts from being manufactured elsewhere and then shipped into the United States.

The Miami Herald reminds its readers that “127 turbines at Puget Sound Energy’s Wild Horse Wind Power Project, which opened in 2006 near Ellensburg, Wash., for example, were built by Denmark-based Vestas.” And even projects slated for the U.S. don’t face rosy times. Dowding Machining in Michicigan let half of its staff go, and it recent built a new plant to make turbine parts.

The story details tales from around the nation of companies that hope to expand on the back of Obama’s plan to increase renewable energy usage. The catch, though, is that turbine manufacturers are as crippled by the deteriorating economy as any other industry. And until banks can get off the mat and start financing big projects, the revival of manufacturing via wind projects will be on hold.

Image courtesy of Vestas

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