2009 Downturn Could Mean Great 2010 for US Wind Industry

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.

Map of Major OEM US Manufacturing Investments














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.

To learn more about the study and Emerging Energy Research, click here.


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