Cost of wind energy is lower thanks to thousands of U.S. companies, now ready to do more to meet EPA rule affordably

June 3, 2014

Washington, D.C.—U.S. wind industry developers, manufacturers and other key players have worked hard for years to make wind energy cheaper. As a result, today they express confidence they can deliver a reliable, affordable product – wind energy – to states and consumers to meet EPA’s proposed rule limiting carbon emissions from existing power plants.

Wind energy is cheaper by 43 percent in four years, thanks partly to 560 factories making wind energy components across 44 states. Utilities and other power providers have increasingly been signing contracts for wind energy, because they can get long-term, fixed-price deals that help hedge their portfolio against the price volatility of fuel-based sources. The thousands of U.S. companies that help manufacture, develop, build, and service wind turbines are capable of leveraging up to $25 billion in private investment in a single year.

Below is a collection of responses from U.S. wind industry companies to the announcement of EPA’s proposed rule:

“States should feel confident that they have a U.S.-made manufacturing sector to lean on, ready to build more wind energy in a cost-effective manner, to comply with EPA’s draft carbon emission rule. With wind energy’s growth, the U.S. wind manufacturing sector has scaled up to meet the growing demand. Opening a new manufacturing facility is a massive investment with huge benefits to the local community and economy. TPI Composites, like the whole American wind energy manufacturing sector, has invested in technological advancements to drive down wind energy’s overall costs. We’ve made wind energy cheaper and easier to build.” - Steve Lockard, President and CEO, TPI Composites

“The EPA's proposal builds on the renewable industry's growing success story of reducing carbon emissions while also growing U.S. jobs and funding of essential services in rural communities.  We continue to work with the Administration and our industry partners to make the U.S.’s electric generation cleaner and more affordable for Americans.” -Steve Trenholm, Chairman, E.ON North America

“We hope that this rule makes clear that we have a chance right now to make long-term decisions to lock in affordable power with clean, renewable energy for decades to come. Renewable power isn’t only clean – it’s competitively priced.   Our customers are already saving millions of dollars by buying wind and solar electricity, and stand to save millions in the years to come.  Renewable energy isn’t subject to the price fluctuation that fossil fuel power is, meaning that the cost savings will last for years to come. “ - Paul Gaynor, CEO, First Wind

"As a clean energy leader, NextEra Energy appreciates the shared responsibility we have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment, while ensuring affordable, reliable energy for our customers. At NextEra Energy, we have positioned our business to manage the opportunities and risks presented by climate change issues, while simultaneously lowering emissions. And for customers of Florida Power & Light Company, we have been investing billions of dollars to modernize our system, converting older, oil-fired power plants into high-efficiency energy centers that run on clean, U.S.-produced natural gas and increasing our use of emissions-free nuclear and solar energy.
     "While we will continue to review the proposed guidelines in detail, we appreciate that EPA's plan provides for compliance flexibility in terms of enabling states to choose how they will meet their goals. We also appreciate that EPA's plan recognizes the efforts that states and companies have taken already toward balancing the needs for cleaner power, lower emissions and affordable energy." – Jim Robo, President and CEO, NextEra Energy, Inc.

“With the release of these proposed rules, the Obama Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency have taken an important step forward in America’s effort to fight climate change. Wind energy has been a proven, cost-competitive and stable source of carbon-free electricity that has driven and continues to drive billions of dollars of investment nationwide, creating jobs and supporting rural economies while contributing to substantial reductions in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. This rule will help accelerate that trend.” - Gabriel Alonso, CEO, EDP Renewables North America

"Renewable sources of energy, and wind power in particular, are poised to deliver economic, reliable, emission-free power to help meet this immense challenge. The EPA proposal is a crucial first step on the way to reducing carbon pollution and the effects of climate change.” - Martin Mugica, President and CEO, Iberdrola Renewables

AWEA recently released a white paper, “The Clean Air Benefits of Wind Energy” (May 2014), with state-by-state data showing how effective wind energy is as a method of complying with the proposed new rules. The paper uses the publicly available EPA AVERT modeling tool to quantify for each state the emissions reductions attributable to the current fleet of over 46,000 utility-scale wind turbines in America.

AWEA is the national trade association of the U.S. wind energy industry. We represent 1,000 member companies and over 100,000 jobs in the U.S. economy, serving as a powerful voice for how wind works for America. Members include global leaders in wind power and energy development, turbine manufacturing, and component and service suppliers. They gather each year at the Western Hemisphere’s largest wind power trade show, the AWEA WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition, next in Chicago, Illinois, May 7-10, 2018. Find information about wind energy on the AWEA website. Gain insight into industry issues on AWEA's blog, Into the Wind. And please join us on Facebook, and follow @AWEA on Twitter.