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US Falls Behind China & UK In Small & Medium Wind Power

A new report analysing the small and medium wind turbine market has found that China, the UK, and Italy lead globally, while the US is lagging well behind.

The report, published by Navigant Research, analyses the global market for small and medium wind turbines, and looks forward to predict capacity and revenue through 2023: Small and medium wind turbines (SMWTs) are defined as turbines less than 500 kW in capacity.

Navigant posits that the SMWT market “is growing as a result of feed-in tariff (FIT) policies in the United Kingdom and growing demand for distributed generation (DG) in general.” Subsequently, the UK market has “boomed” over the last two years, and is currently the market leader worldwide.

“Growth in small wind power, to date, has been tied to state and federal incentives in the United Kingdom, Italy, and the United States,” says Dexter Gauntlett, senior research analyst with Navigant Research.  “Now the sector is maturing, with momentum building around the wind lease model–which has enabled strong growth not only in the U.S. solar photovoltaic market, but also among microgrids, islands, and developing countries where incentives are less important.”

China and Italy follow, with the US coming in at number four.

Annual Small and Medium Wind System Installed Capacity by Region, World Markets: 2014E-2023


The US market is struggling due to the reduced state of the country’s incentives, as well as competition from solar PV systems that have dramatically dropped in cost over the past several years.

Unlike the frontrunners, the state of the US small and medium wind industry is tellingly summed up by the author’s of the report, who note that the US market for small and medium wind is simply “trying to regain momentum after rebates and other key incentive programs in leading states stalled, decreased, or expired in the past 4 years.”

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