U.S. power-plant developers added wind power capacity in the third quarter at the slowest pace since 2007, reversing a trend of clean energy outpacing coal, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
Minnesota ranks sixth among the states in wind power generating capacity.
The group says installations stand at 1,634 Megawatts so far this year, down 72 percent versus 2009, and the lowest level since 2006. "In 2010, wind projects in the U.S. are being installed at half the rate as in Europe, and a third of the rate as in China," the Association said in a statement.
Wind turbines have accounted for 14 percent of new power generation this year and coal 39 percent, the Washington-based lobbying group said Friday in a statement.
Last year, wind made up 39 percent of new generation, almost matching the growth of natural gas, and coal took 13 percent.
Legislation to require utilities to buy more renewable energy such as wind and solar failed in the Senate this year. That eliminated an incentive that manufacturers such as General Electric Co. and Vestas Wind Systems AS, the world's biggest suppliers, had expected to boost demand.
"U.S. wind energy can again lead the world," Denise Bode, chief executive officer of the trade association, said in the statement. "But if federal policy makers do not act quickly to provide investment certainty through a renewable electricity standard and longer-term tax policy, the U.S. wind industry will stall."