In an attempt to stave off potential job losses, Vestas Wind Systems reduced hours at two manufacturing plants in Colorado for all hourly staff on Monday, according to The Denver Post.
Workers will see their weekly hours drop to 32 from 40, with the balance covered by a “work-share” program approved by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.
Affected employees will be able to collect lost wages from unemployment funds released by CDLE under the agreement for up to 18 weeks.
Vestas has suffered repeated layoffs over the past year, slashing more than 800 jobs in October alone ahead of fears that the 10-year wind production tax credit (PTC) would not be renewed for 2013 and beyond.
The Heritage Foundation’s David Kreutzer highlighted seven myths associated with the wind production tax credit, noting the overall failure of wind subsidies in the United States and Europe and the inability of wind power to achieve cost-competitiveness on par with conventional power sources.
Billions in cash payments for solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources has yielded paltry results, with $9.2 billion for small and large wind projects alone raising wind’s contribution as an energy source in 2011 to just 2.9 percent, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Among the problems facing wind—and the turbines that hope to harness its energy—is the chronic problem of intermittency, with installed wind turbines generating around just 25 percent of their nameplate capacity.
Wind also proves wildly unreliable during period when the demand is greatest and at times is “virtually nonexistent,” according to a study released in October 2012.