On Global Wind Day, Siemens highlights wind’s role in America’s energy revolution

Monday, June 15, 2015 11:00 am EDT

By:

Jacob N. Andersen, CEO Onshore Americas, Siemens Wind Power and Renewables Division

Global Wind Day provides a prime opportunity to highlight the prominent role wind is playing in America’s energy revolution. Wind power is more affordable, more reliable and more abundant than ever before.

The U.S. leads the world in the amount of electricity that is produced by wind, with more than 180 billion kWh in 2014.

As a share of the nation’s energy mix, wind has grown from under 1% to nearly 5% over the past eight years – competing with natural gas for the top spot of new power added to the system.  This growth has a lot to do with the significant reduction in the cost of wind energy, which has dropped by half over the past five years.

Wind has earned its place as a mainstream energy source that is powering millions of homes across the United States. The growth of wind means fewer emissions, greater energy security, and more control over our energy future.

It also means something else that is very important: jobs. The wind industry is a bright spot in America’s manufacturing renaissance.

More than 1,700 employees work in Siemens’ wind business here in the United States. And we’re honored that many veterans are among their ranks – they fought for our national security, and now they’re working to help achieve American energy security.

Siemens U.S. wind power experts are manufacturing blades at our factory in Fort Madison, Iowa; assembling nacelles and hubs at our plant in Hutchinson, Kansas; performing research and development at our wind center in Boulder, Colorado; and carrying out service and maintenance operations across the country.

At our Wind Service Training Center in Orlando, service technicians from throughout the Americas receive the industry's highest level of safety training – equipping them with advanced technical skills to service and maintain wind turbines.

Siemens’ investments, and the investments that have been made industry-wide, demonstrate that wind has evolved into a mature industry in the United States. It covers a complete value chain – from installation logistics to service and maintenance. And the Energy Department’s recent Wind Vision report indicates that wind’s share of capacity could double in the next five years – to 10%.

Siemens is now working to write the next chapter of growth in America’s wind industry. Last month, we announced a new turbine, designed largely at our wind R&D center in Colorado, to meet the needs of our customers in the U.S. and throughout the Americas.

The new SWT-2.3-120 features a high-performance 120-meter rotor that enables it to achieve enhanced energy production for medium to low wind sites, and offers improved performance at higher altitudes and under a wider range of temperature conditions. This turbine, slated for production in 2017, is very much “Made for America.”

At Siemens, we’re optimistic about the future of wind energy in America. And we are firmly committed to using our global expertise to grow onshore and offshore wind in the United States.