The plant, lured to Arkansas with millions of dollars in state incentives, will cease production after it fills current orders.
When Nordex officials and the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce announced plans to build the $100 million facility in the Craighead Technology Park in 2008, they said the wind turbine manufacturer would employ at least 700 workers with average wages of $17 an hour.
… 50 people currently work at the Jonesboro plant. Joe Holmes, spokesman for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, said the plant had no more than 100 workers at the height of production.
The wind bubble is beginning to burst
While state incentives attracted them to Arkansas, US government incentives created a “wind bubble” that is beginning to burst. Disappearing incentives combined with “global overcapacity” in the wind turbine manufacturing business, now that governments have run out of money, are pointing to a continuing slide in this industry.
As Nordex notes in their press release:
The decision was driven by the wind industry’s global overcapacity and the continued uncertainty and instability of the US market.
Dr. Jürgen Zeschky, CEO of Nordex SE, explained, “This was an extremely difficult decision for Nordex. We are reacting to the weakened demand from the US market, brought on by the unpredictable extensions of the Production Tax Credit (PTC), and the resulting low utilization rate of our US assembly plant.
Wind energy is all smoke and mirrors and government money
Claims by the wind energy industry that it is growing are simply not true. Throwing taxpayer dollars at wind energy and claiming it’s creating green jobs is like paying people to dig holes and claiming it’s creating brown jobs. If people are not buying it on their own, it’s not a business, it’s a government make work project. When the government takes taxpayer dollars to “create” jobs, it’s actually shifting the dollars from what the taxpayers would prefer to spend their own money on, in effect, preventing the creation of real jobs in businesses where there would be a real demand.
Just one more example of the “green energy” industry facing the inevitable as government support dwindles. Something that can’t go on forever, won’t.
Segue C says
“50 people currently work at the Jonesboro plant. Joe Holmes, spokesman for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, said the plant had no more than 100 workers at the height of production.”
Same thing everywhere, benefits exaggerated and costs underestimated or completely ignored…no proper due diligence anywhere.
Mass insanity or organized crime?
Maine Wind Concerns says
Good post, and good website! But you mention more than once the reliance on “taxpayer dollars” as the prop that has kept the bubble aloft. Tax dollars are only half of the subsidy poison. Ratepayer dollars are being extracted in 30 states that employ renewable portfolio mandates. Many states allow their Public Utilities Commissions to mandate wind power purchasing contracts at above market costs. And then there are the wind integration T&D costs that also fall on ratepayers. Focusing merely on the taxpayer argument is missing some of the point. Of course, most of us have both a ratepayer pocket and a taxpayer pocket, so we are being pickpocketed on both sides of our trousers.
Paul Crowe says
You’re correct about ratepayers picking up part of the tab and in some of the other posts I do mention that. Here in Pennsylvania, like most of the rest of the country, we have a steadily increasing percentage of our energy that has to come from renewable sources which drives up costs. Without that mandate, utilities wouldn’t buy energy from wind in the first place, the conventional power plants they have in place could do the job all by themselves, but now we need those power plants as backup and the wind turbines, too, increasing the investment in equipment to do the job that could be done without any wind turbines at all.