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January 24, 2023

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1 big thing: Tough weather for wind manufacturers

Illustration of a wind turbine with one broken blade.

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Wind energy manufacturers are being hit by high costs, supply chain constraints and turbine breakdowns, Alan reports.

Why it matters: The challenges are forcing layoffs at the biggest turbine makers and dragging down quarterly earnings.

Driving the news: GE this morning reported that its renewable energy division saw revenue drop 19% in Q4, even as the rest of the company was profitable.

  • The bulk of the pain was concentrated in GE's wind energy business, which is among the largest manufacturers of wind turbines and blades.
  • GE's wind power struggles came amid a slowdown in new U.S. wind projects last year, per Deloitte's annual renewable energy outlook.

Zoom in: The company has reportedly been hemorrhaging money through warranty payments for unreliable turbines.

Of note: GE in October planned to layoff about 20% of its onshore wind workforce.

State of play: The problems may be especially pronounced at GE. But the company isn't alone.

What's next: Incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act will give a moderate boost to manufacturers, per a Wood Mackenzie report last week.

  • But wind is expected to see slow growth this year, with its market share in the U.S. remaining flat at 11%-12% through 2024, the U.S. Energy Information Administration projected last week.

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