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Category — Layoffs (wind)

Windpower Layoffs Making PTC Extension Increasingly Moot

“The spate of layoffs that wind industry advocates have warned about has accelerated in recent weeks, with workers losing their jobs in key wind states such as Iowa and Colorado in a trend expected to continue at least into next year.”

- Nick Juliano, “Wind Layoffs Mostly Hitting Constituents of PTC Supporters,” Greenwire, August 29, 2012.

Energy reality continues to set in for the government-dependent energy sector, industrial windpower. Part of the reckoning is economic–the increased competitive gap between electricity generated from natural gas versus wind. But the bigger part is the looming expiration of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind. Twenty years of such political favor has not been enough for a product that is intermittent (read: sub-industrial grade).

As reported in Greenwire last week:

More than 2,200 jobs have been cut, are at risk or were never created, although an untold number more likely have been affected through cuts at smaller companies that may not have generated formal announcements. The downturn has affected jobs in at least a dozen states, from Massachusetts to Oregon to Arkansas.

A map of the specific losses in regard to local Congressional races (Republicans in Red; Democrats in Blue) was compiled by E&E News (sub. req.). [Read more →]

September 6, 2012   11 Comments

Positive News from AWEA: “Layoffs mount in U.S. wind power manufacturing plants this week”

Unfortunately the [wind] industry has begun letting workers go up and down our American manufacturing supply chain…. Congress must [extend subsidies] now to give wind energy a stable business environment… to … save 37,000 American jobs by the first quarter of next year.”

    - Denise Bode (AWEA), Press Release, August 9, 2012

“He who lives by a legalized sword, will perish by a legalized sword.”

    - Ayn Rand, “The Moratorium on Brains II,” Ayn Rand Letter, 1971

The wind industry is imploding, and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is providing the details. Suffice it to say that there will be no Jay Leno at the next AWEA confab.

With accumulating layoffs, extending the Production Tax Credit (PTC) is increasingly becoming too late. AWEA has been warming about 10,000 job losses by September 1, and now the number is 37,000 in the next seven or so months.

Wind companies are wising up to the fact that consumers don’t like their product. And who wants to bet their future on politicians with federal deficit reduction being the elephant in the room? If AWEA is to be believed, there will not be much of an industry to save in a matter of months.

Here are the latest layoff announcements, according to AWEA:

  • In Tulsa, Okla., DMI Industries announced 167 workers will be unemployed by November;
  • In West Fargo, N.D., DMI Industries said 216 jobs stand at risk; [Read more →]

August 20, 2012   7 Comments

Dear Wind Industry: We Need Your Workers and Materials (and taxpayers need your cessation)

“The stakes here could not be clearer. Economic studies have shown that Congressional inaction on the PTC will kill 37,000 American jobs, shutter plants and cancel billions of dollars in private investment. Congress needs to understand that, with PTC uncertainty, layoffs have already begun and further job losses and even plant closings will accelerate each month as we near expiration in December.”

- Denise Bode, quoted in American Wind Energy Association, “As Wind Manufacturing Job Losses Loom, Bipartisan Wind Extension Drive Continues (February 16, 2012).

Three cheers for market-driven resource reallocation for personal and economic betterment.

Some of us can speak from personal experience. I was part of the 4,000-person layoff from Enron Corporation on Monday December 3, 2001. The economy became a little more efficient that day, as many started getting jobs at other energy companies and elsewhere where consumer demand was stronger.

Such is the ‘creative destruction’ of the market economy where the good replaces the bad, and where the even-better replaces the good.

The windpower industry is entering what could well be the beginning of a death cycle. Industrial wind is increasingly losing its special ratepayer and taxpayer support with democracies in deficit and consumers in search of cost and reliability advantages.

Judging from the ‘help wanted’ signs, the oil and gas industry stands ready to absorb the precious resources that have gone into the ‘Enron’ of energy sources. Some workers will need to be retrained, while others will find a closer integration of skills.

Perhaps even the employees of AWEA can become true environmentalists or libertarian to argue against ethanol and on-grid solar and light bulb mandates to close deficits and increase personal liberty. The pro-consumer, pro-taxpayer movement can always use a few more good women and men! [Read more →]

March 6, 2012   6 Comments