Lack of energy policy, financing are barriers to wind power

Dallas, May 24, 2010 — Business advocates of the U.S. wind market point to the lack of financing and the lack of a national energy policy as the top obstacles to growth, according to the 2010 U.S. Wind Industry Monitor.

The 2010 U.S. Wind Industry Monitor is an opinion poll conducted by Droege and Comp., an international management consultancy offering an energy competency, and Gibbs and Soell, an independent global public relations firm with communications expertise in advanced manufacturing, energy, greentech and sustainable industries.

Nearly 60 professionals representing various enterprises serving the wind industry participated in the poll. Highlights of the findings include:

* Respondents identified the lack of financing (72.0 percent), lack of national energy policy (67.0 percent) and lack of transmission (54.0 percent) as “important” or “very important” main obstacles to business growth.

* Despite the ongoing challenges, most respondents forecasted growth for their U.S. businesses in 2010 (69.6 percent), 2011 (83.0 percent) and 2012 (84.6 percent).

* Generating heightened visibility among stakeholders is critically important for sparking growth in the mature wind industry market. Sales and marketing efforts (67 percent) were identified by participants as an “important” or “very important” strategic activity for 2010.

“The U.S. wind industry is poised to regain speed, as evidenced by the recently announced contract signing by a major power buyer for the nation’s first large scale, offshore wind farm,” said Sebastian Goeres, a renewable energy specialist with Droege and Comp. “Despite continuing hindrances related to financing and policy, recent market developments have motivated savvy wind enterprises to take a new look at their growth strategies. Cost reductions through supplier negotiations and improvements in operational efficiency certainly will be two focal points for those wishing to strengthen their positions now.”

More aggressive sales and marketing efforts within the U.S. will dominate strategies for the majority of respondents. The most popular communications methods cited were e-mail promotions (71.7 percent) and editorial coverage in traditional news media (52.8 percent), which are more conventional marketing and public relations techniques.

“The popularity of proven techniques speaks to the maturity of the industry, yet points to the need for a better understanding of how an integrated communications strategy can effectively influence sales and other business activities,” stated Ron Loch, senior vice president, Gibbs and Soell. “A comprehensive strategy that embraces traditional and new media can help businesses build meaningful connections with customers, investors, law makers, and many more stakeholders integral to the growth of the U.S. wind industry.”


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