“While the industry saw the all-too-real impacts of having no long-term U.S. policies toward renewable energy, the industry nevertheless made significant advances in 2010,” said Denise Bode, ceo of the American Wind Energy Association, buoyed by the announcement of the extension to the 1603 Treasury Grant Program.

“Wind power supply chain manufacturers continued to announce new U.S. plants despite an uncertain economic climate," she began: "The industry reached over 50% domestic content for turbines installed in the U.S. In addition, advances were made in regional transmission plans, the market for smaller turbines grew 15%, and offshore wind took major steps on the path to the first U.S. installations".

She added that utility-scale wind energy achieved the milestone of supplying 20% of the electricity in Iowa - an achievement reached "right in America’s heartland".

In one of the most positive developments of 2010, Congress extended by one more year the Section 1603 Investment Tax Credit for renewable energy, a policy which helped the industry emerge as a bright spot in the U.S. economy and keep 85,000 Americans working even at the depth of the recession, she said.

But Bode also pointed out that wind power’s growing stature within the group of mainstream electricity sources had drawn fire from other industries. “In 2010, fossil fuel-funded attacks put U.S. incentives for wind power at risk,” Bode said. “Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal editorial page has been running a series of one-sided challenges to renewable energy, while overlooking all the negative effects of conventional sources, including their enormous costs to taxpayers. And America fell to third place in wind installations behind China and the European Union, both of which have implemented long-term policies to provide a stable environment for wind power to operate.”