Project Development, Utility Scale, Wind Power

US Small Wind Market Grew 78% in 2008

It isn’t just the utility scale wind market that experienced record growth last year. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has reported that the U.S. market for small wind turbines – capacities of 100 kilowatts (kW) and less – grew 78% in 2008, with a total of 17.3 megawatts (MW) of new installed capacity.

U.S. manufacturers sold about half of all small wind turbines installed worldwide last year and the country’s market share amounted to US $77 million of the $156 million global total. Worldwide, about 38.7 MW of new small wind capacity was installed in 2008.

“The U.S. wind industry is a growing bright spot in our domestic economy, and the small wind sector is no exception,” said Denise Bode, AWEA’s CEO. “Strong federal policies like the federal investment tax credit for small wind are critical to future growth, just as adoption of a federal renewable electricity standard (RES) is essential to growth in the utility-scale market.”

Growth in the small wind sector was the result in large part of private investment that has allowed manufacturing volumes to increase. This was particularly true for the commercial segment of the market (systems 21-100 kW).

The largest segment of the market, residential (1-10 kW), was driven by investment and manufacturing economies of scale, but also rising residential electricity prices and a heightened public awareness of the technology and its attributes.
 
To download a copy of AWEA’s 2009 Small Wind Global Market Study, click here.