Massachusetts, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] In the face of the near-term market uncertainty that has been created by the financial crisis, the longer-term prospects for the U.S. wind industry remain strong, according to a new study from Emerging Energy Research (EER). In the near-term, EER forecasts that 2009 wind capacity additions may drop as low as 6.5 GW, 24% below 2008’s record levels.
But, with a return to liquidity in wind project debt and tax equity markets, EER anticipates a potential rebound of 9 GW of wind capacity additions in 2010 and 11 GW in 2011.
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According to findings from EER’s study, U.S. wind gets short-term boost from new federal incentives like the economic stimulus package, which provides several new tax equity financing options for US wind projects installed in 2009-2010. The provision of a 30% Investment Tax Credit (ITC) with Treasury grant options could help to considerably drive near-term growth, according to EER.
State Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) will drive growth as would a potential national RPS. Build-out of major new inter-state transmission aiming to unlock high-wind resources in the US Midwest and Southwest regions is of great importance in key U.S. wind states such as Texas, California, the Dakotas, and Wyoming.
Under EER’s base-case forecast scenario, US annual wind power growth will increase from 8.5 GW in 2008 to nearly 15.5 GW by 2020.