Everything is heavy.
The average turbine tips the scale approximately 200 to 400 short tons. In all, a turbine might incorporate 8,000 components.
A 64-watt solar panel, barely enough to power an incandescent bulb, can weigh 24 pounds.
With diesel and port fees steadily rising, that heft could translate directly into manufacturing jobs. To some degree, it’s happening already. Nine of the top-ten wind companies have current or announced U.S. facilities for building towers, blades, or nacelles. Foreign and domestic solar companies have erected module facilities in Oregon, California and Arizona.
Is this the start of an industrial Renaissance? Maybe, maybe not. Labor rates remain comparatively high in the U.S. Several nations also offer tax holidays, subsidized land and sparkling new industrial parks that often beat anything federal and state governments can put together. Then again, the U.S. remains a leader in intellectual property control and novel business models.
Read more on this topic in a joint effort by General Electric Ecomagination and Greentech Media, and join the conversation here.