A recent market study from Robotic Industries Association examines the opportunities for automation in the fabrication of wind turbines used to generate electricity. Because of its rapid growth – 28.7 percent in 2008 – this market has gained quite a bit of attention and shows signs that it has reached the point where automation technologies may be needed for continued expansion. A PDF file of the study is offered free from the members-only section of Robotics Online at www.robotics.org.
In the United States, wind energy gets a federal tax credit of 1.8 cents per kilowatt-hour. More important, the U.S. Department of Energy has set a goal of 30 percent energy from wind by 2030. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act also provides a 30 percent investment tax credit to purchasers of wind turbines.