The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

Small Wind Industry Set to Triple by 2015, U.S To Dominate Two-thirds of the Market

The small wind industry is, well, small — representing about 50 MW of capacity additions each year around the world. But new project additions are set to triple by 2015, bringing yearly capacity up to 152 MW, according to a new analysis from Pike Research.

That steady scaling will allow total installed costs to fall further, declining from about $5.40 per watt on average today to $4.10 per watt in 2015, according to the analysis

And guess what? The U.S. will continue to dominate in manufacturing and installing those units. According to the American Wind Energy Association, two thirds of all small wind systems deployed around the world are manufactured in the U.S. And in the American market, 95 percent of all turbines sold are made domestically.

Small wind may not be a mega-industry, but it does provide solid economic value.

During another sluggish year for economic growth in 2010, the small wind industry (turbines under 100 kW) grew 26 percent, representing $139 million in sales in the U.S. alone. The strong growth in the American market was spurred by the creation of an investment tax credit for small wind systems. According to AWEA, around 80% of the value of a small wind system is created within the U.S.

Similar promotion policies in other countries are driving growth around the world, allowing U.S. manufacturers to continue shipping products overseas. These companies are seeing increasing competition from Asian producers, but many of those companies have major reliability issues. For now, American and European manufacturers dominate the market.

Because siting small wind projects is often far more complex than siting solar projects, the industry has not kept pace with the rapid pace of PV deployment. While small wind won’t catch up with solar in total number of systems deployed, it can learn from the innovative financing models emerging in the industry, writes Pike analyst Peter Asmus:

[S]mall wind turbines have not enjoyed the same level of innovation when it comes to unique financing and business models, particularly when compared with distributed solar energy. Pike Research’s analysis indicates that business models gaining traction in the small wind sector include leasing programs and utility or third-party ownership.

With consistent policies that help spur better performance-based financing models, this industry will see solid growth. Pike expects the market to grow from $255 million to $634 million. Hopefully, with a continued focus on quality and innovation, the U.S. will continue to dominate the market.

This article was originally published by Climate Progress and was reprinted with permission.

RELATED ARTICLES

Rooftop Solar Panels

Hypocrisy? While Buffett Champions Renewables, His Company Fights Rooftop Solar

Mark Chediak, Noah Buhayar and Margaret Newkirk, Bloomberg Warren Buffett highlights how his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. utilities make massive investments in renewable energy. Meanwhile, in Nevada, the company is fighting a plan that would encourage more residents to use green power.
Renewable Energy Finance

Clean Energy ETFs Are on a Tear

Eric Balchunas, Bloomberg Green investing used to be synonymous with losing money. But while the S&P 500 Index is up 2 percent this year, and the MSCI All-Country World Index is up 5 percent, clean energy ETFs have double-digit re...

Wheels, Towers and Trees: Unconventional Renewable Energy Technologies in the Pipeline

Andrew Williams, International Correspondent A number of companies around the world are developing novel technologies in an effort to grab a slice of the global renewable energy market.  Although many of these technologies are simple incremental improvements to e...
UK Parliament Clean Energy Leaders

UK Government Names Clean Energy Cabinet Members

David Appleyard, Contributing Editor With the UK general election now over and a majority Conservative Party government in place, the re-elected Prime Minister David Cameron has now named key members of the government charged with steering the UK’s clean energ...
I am a reporter with ClimateProgress.org, a blog published by the Center for American Progress. I am former editor and producer for RenewableEnergyWorld.com, where I contributed stories and hosted the Inside Renewable Energy Podcast. Keep in to...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

03/01/2015
Volume 18, Issue 3
file

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Doing Business in Brazil – in partnership with GWEC, the Global Win...

Brazil is one of the most promising markets for wind energy.  Ranke...

Energy Storage USA 2015

Energy Storage USA is the leading conference in the United States focuse...

Wind Power Central America

Wind power projects are expected to reach 46GW of total installed capaci...

COMPANY BLOGS

SunEdison Expands Residential Market Offerings with New PPA, Sales ...

SunEdison has largely focussed on the commercial and utility-scale solar...

Deadline for Inclusion in Solar Power World's Top Solar Contractors...

UPDATE: The official deadline for the Solar Power World T...

Are You Ready for a Natural Disaster?

Guest post by Jenna Clarke  Living in the Shenandoah Valley of Virg...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS