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Small Wind Energy Market Forecast to Double by 2013

Small wind power, an often under appreciated segment of the broader renewable distributed energy generation industry, is finding an increasing number of niche applications in residential and commercial markets. According to a recent report from Pike Research, Boulder, Colo., the global small wind market is poised for strong growth in the next few years, with revenues forecast to expand from $203 million in 2009 to $412 in 2013, a compound annual growth rate of nearly 20 percent. During that same period, worldwide installed capacity of small wind turbines will increase from 49 to 115 megawatts.

“Small wind energy is less expensive than solar on a cost per watt basis,” says senior analyst David Link, “which is driving more and more businesses and rural consumers to give it a second look. In addition, we are seeing increasing government support for small wind.” Link adds that the applications for small wind include residential off-grid power, agricultural applications, community microgrids, schools and government buildings, and remote telecom network power, among others.

However, Link notes, key market barriers include intermittent reliability of power, permitting and siting challenges, and a general lack of suitability for off-grid applications. For these reasons, small wind turbines, using a variety of innovative designs, are most often used in conjunction with other energy sources including solar photovoltaics, diesel generation or battery backup power.

Pike Research’s study, “Small Wind Power,” analyzes the global opportunity for small wind power in the context of the broader renewable distributed energy generation market. The study covers key business issues and drivers of demand, including government-driven legislation and incentives as well as market-based factors. Forecasts include worldwide small wind generation capacity, system revenues, and installed prices through 2013. An executive summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website, www.pikeresearch.com.


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