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Clean Power small wind turbine sales

Published on September 25th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan


Small Wind Turbine Market Growing Strong in U.S.

September 25th, 2011 by  

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is going to release a report on 2010 growth of the small wind turbine market soon, the AWEA 2010 U.S. Small Wind Turbine Market Report. I got to take a sneak peak at some of the data and charts and, with permission, am sharing a few key points and a couple graphs with you here on CleanTechnica. Check out the following and let us know what you think about the small wind turbine market and its strong growth.

small wind turbine sales capacity 2010Highlights:

  1. Small wind turbine market grew 26% in 2010 (in kW), more than any previous year.
  2. Nearly 8,000 small wind power systems were sold in 2010 for a record $139 million.
  3. Cumulative small wind turbine sales in the U.S. after 2010 bring U.S. capacity to  179 MW (from 144,000 units), nothing to laugh about.
  4. Fewer wind turbines were sold, but they apparently had a higher average capacity. (Average cost was $5,430/kW.)
  5. More of the sales were for grid-connected turbines than in previous years, representing 90% of sales for the first time ever.
  6. Sales come from over a dozen small wind turbine companies, including over a half-dozen U.S. companies. “Domestic sales by U.S. manufacturers accounted for an 83% share of the U.S. market; on a unit basis, U.S. manufacturers claimed 94% of domestic sales.”
  7. Turbines manufactured in the U.S. typically used 80% domestic content.
  8. 51 different wind turbines models were known to be sold.

More to come when AWEA releases the full report, but it seems clear that small wind turbines are growing in popularity and sales, and that they are creating jobs for numerous Americans today.

Images via AWEA


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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

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  • Bwlentz

    How many wind turbines caught fire each year? I’ve seen a dozen photos of burning and burned turbines, just wondered if it was a serious problem. Also the results of studies on the illnesses caused by living near them would be of interest. Not that I’m against them, anything to save energy and living costs is great! But we need to know the down side of new technologies before heaps of them are installed, and correct the problems before they are more widely introduced.

    • Anonymous

      hmm, i haven’t heard about or seen pics of either issue.

      from what i’ve read on health effects of wind turbines in general, though, there doesn’t seem to be a case for them causing health problems… but, yeah, more research should be done (as always). i don’t think halting their growth when they are displacing clearly harmful coal power is a good idea at this stage though

    • Cal Morton

      Good grief… there really are people out there that believe in blazing, vomit inducing wind turbines. We’ve been installing wind turbines for decades, there are thousands and thousands of them… don’t you think if they were REALLY catching fire and making lots of people sick there would be actually reams of evidence of this? Yes, occasionally, very, very infrequently a turbine will malfunction, and could go up in flames… they put the fire out and replace the turbine. There is not toxic radiation emitted, spilled into the sea.

    • Bob_Wallace

      ” The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health published recently a scientific study on health impacts of wind turbines. The study was undertaken by a panel of independent experts “to identify any documented or potential health impacts of risks that may be associated with exposure to wind turbines, and, specifically, to facilitate discussion of wind turbines and public health based on scientific findings”.

      No scientific evidence could be found that the so called “wind turbine syndrome” exists.”


      Now, it could well be the case that some people who are overly concerned about wind turbines in their backyards are making themselves sick with worry, but it’s hard to blame turbines for self-induced illness.

      The site also states that over 700,000 small wind turbines have been installed worldwide.

      According to this site (CT) there were 197 GW of wind installed at the end of 2010. With lots of installed turbines around 2 MW that’s a heck of a lot of turbines. The number of large turbines could be around 100,000.

      A dozen pictures of burning turbines is pretty insignificant, even if it was a dozen different turbines and not different pictures of the same turbine.

      (I saw multiple pictures of the turbine that failed in Scotland last year. Shots from different angles and at different times during the flame out.)

  • Matthew Peffly

    And then the bad news.
    If the numbers are right then the “small” turbines are getting larger: ~1Kw/unit 2001-2007 1.67/2008 2.07/2009 3.28/2010

    The cost ber Kw is going UP: $3360/Kw (2005) $4460/Kw(2009) $5434/kw (2010)
    Where are the saving on scale? I guess what the chart is really saying is the sales force got a lot better in the last 5 years. While I glad to see the the growth in install base. No way that will keep up with cost per KW rising that fast. Looking at the delta cost of KW year to year: -5% (2005), +24%(2006), +6%(2007), -4%(2008), +6%(2009), +22%(2010). For 2005 to 2010 that is a rise of 61% in cost per KW.

    • Anonymous

      yeah, i noticed the same (and less strongly pointed it out). don’t know enough about the specifics of this industry to know why the price is going up (but have a guess…)

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