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Daily Newscasts

The Wind Powers WI Job Growth

March 1, 2010

MADISON, Wis. - General Motors has left Janesville, and many of Wisconsin's other heavy manufacturing concerns have dried up, but clean energy may be the key to Wisconsin's manufacturing future - even with competition from the Chinese. When Ingeteam opens a new wind turbine plant in Milwaukee, the state's economic future truly may be "blowin' in the wind."

Ingeteam, which manufactures wind and solar energy components, says its new Milwaukee plant will begin operating next year and eventually will provide 275 new jobs.

Michael Vickerman, executive director of Madison-based Renew Wisconsin, says things are looking up for renewable energy and wind power in Wisconsin.

"The potential is brighter because of the existing network of manufacturing and construction companies and service providers that could support a growth in wind power."

Experts say wind energy is a $63 billion market. But, as in any developing technology like renewable energy and wind power, there are still a number of issues to be dealt with, Vickerman says.

"The problem is the lack of confidence in the stability of the U.S. wind market. Actually, that's true for other - many other - renewable resources."

The U.S. is currently the leader in producing, manufacturing and installing wind energy systems, but China is quickly closing the gap. China led the race to generate new wind power in 2009, more than doubling its capacity, while U.S. wind power capacity increased by only 39 percent. Vickerman and other renewable energy experts warn that the U.S. could lose many potential wind-energy jobs to China unless Congress and the states pass strong clean-energy policies.

More information is available by calling Renew Wisconsin, 608-255-4044.

Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI