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Austrians Harness the Wind

windmill pix © photocase.com/schnerpf

© photocase.com/schnerpf

May 13, 2009

News from WINDPOWER 2009  

Austrian firms are quickly establishing their expertise in the US wind energy market, the largest wind power market in the world. The recent WINDPOWER Conference 2009 in Chicago, sponsored by the American Wind Energy Association , broke all records in the industry by assembling 1,200 exhibitors and 23,000 attendees. These included Austrian exhibitors Bachmann Electronic , AMSC Windtec , Ebnerfab and SKF Economos GmbH . In addition, “the wind company GmbH “ and Josef Martin GmbH also attended.

Strong Market Interest and Federal Funding
The fundamentals for long-term growth in the US wind energy business are strong. In the face of constrictions in project financing faced since the end of 2008, the Obama administration has already pledged billions in investment refunds to wind energy, and is also expected to advance the national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) with the goal of producing 20% wind penetration in the energy sector by 2030. The sector grew over 100% in 2007 and 60% in 2008, and the US continues to need clean, renewable domestically produced energy produced at competitive prices.

Wanted: Suppliers
The US wind energy industry is currently facing a shortage of local suppliers, particularly for components such as generators, gears and blades. Currently approximately 50% of product is imported, particularly from Europe. Austrian firms are quickly establishing a US manufacturing and sales presence, from electronic controls developed by Bachmann Electronic to robust windmill housings fabricated by Ebnerfab. Considering that windmills require the precision of surgical tools and the dimensions of freight trains, this is not a market for the timid!

Goals Set High
The US market, where one of every five of the world´s windmill installations is being built, remains a huge market with opportunities that quickly approach an overwhelming scale. Despite the current slowdown, the Global Wind Energy Council predicts that a total of 55 GW of wind power capacity will be added in North America over the next five years, bringing the total to more than 82 GW. And the stamp “Made in Austria” will be part of it all!  

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