Published on October 4th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan4
Small Wind Turbine Growth Projected to Keep Booming
October 4th, 2011 by Zachary Shahan
I wrote a piece on the considerable growth of the small wind turbine market in recent years just about a week ago. That growth is projected to continue. By 2015, the installed capacity small wind turbine market is projected to go from 50MW to 152MW.
“Small wind power provides cost-effective electricity on a highly localized level, both in remote settings as well as in conjunction with power from the utility grid,” Pike Research, which conducted the new analysis, says. “Growth in the industry is being driven by increased awareness of small wind technologies as an alternative source of electric power, the desire for community ownership of power generation, and the recognition that investment in small wind turbines can be an enduring source of economic development for the locales in which they are deployed.”
Payback time for people in good locations is reportedly 5-10 years at the moment. Of course, some people still don’t have the capital to put into a small wind turbine, or the foresight to, despite the short payback period. Like in solar, therefore, leasing and 3rd-party ownership are making small wind turbines more popular options for individuals and small businesses. Slower to innovate and develop in these ways, reportedly due to the higher efficiency and lower levelized cost of small wind, and facing more difficult siting issues, small wind doesn’t match the popularity of residential solar, but it’s got a lot of potential.
Here’s more from Pike Research on the projected growth of small wind turbines in coming years:
The cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts that the global market for small wind systems will more than double between 2010 and 2015, rising from $255 million to $634 million during that period. Within the same forecast horizon, small wind system installed capacity additions will nearly triple to 152 megawatts, and average installed prices of small wind systems will decline to just over $4,150 per kilowatt. (note: it’s at about $5,400 per kilowatt today)
As reported in that previous piece, the U.S. has dominated the small wind turbine market. It’s projected to continue dominating the market in the coming years. (and the jobs created are mostly U.S. jobs since the large majority of the turbine production occurs in the U.S.).
We’re big fans of distributed energy generation here on CleanTechnica (if you haven’t noticed), so I’m happy to report more good news from this industry.