Small wind turbines in the U.S. are growing at a very rapid rate.
EnvironmentalLeader.com reports that the market for small wind turbines… those that produce 100 kilowatts or less… grew by a whopping 78 percent last year… following a trend discovered in an American Wind Energy Association study that showed there was about 17.3 megawatts of new small wind capacity installed in the U.S. and about 38.7 MW installed worldwide in 2008:
Denise Bode, CEO for AWEA, said in a press release that strong federal policies like the federal investment tax credit for small wind are critical to future growth. Wind energy leaders recently discussed how much the industry will rely on government incentives and standards to maintain its high growth at the Wind Power 2009 Conference in May. AWEA recently reported that more than 2,800 WM of wind energy was installed in the United States over the first quarter of 2009, which is enough to power 816,000 homes.
The 2009 Small Wind Global Market Study finds that U.S. manufacturers sold about half of all small wind turbines installed worldwide last year, with the U.S. market share accounting for $77 million of the $156 million global total. Growth in the small wind sector is attributed to increased private investment that has allowed manufacturing volumes to increase, particularly for the commercial segment of the market (systems 21-100 kW systems), according to the study.
The article goes on to say that a recent poll of small wind manufacturers finds they believe there will be a 30-fold growth in the U.S. small wind market within five years, in spite of the tough economic conditions.