AWEA: U.S. Market for Small Wind Turbines Grew 78% in 2008

June 10, 2009

Small wind turbines added a total of 17.3 megawatts of generating capacity throughout the United States in 2008, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). That growth equaled a 78% increase in the domestic market for small wind turbines, which are defined as wind turbines with capacities of 100 kilowatts or less. AWEA's "2009 Small Wind Global Market Study," published in late May, credited the increase in part to greater manufacturing volumes, as the industry was able to attract enough private investment to finance manufacturing plant expansions. It also credited rising electricity prices and greater public awareness of wind technologies for an increase in residential sales. But a poll of small wind manufacturers found that the growth in 2008 might be only a glimmer of things to come, as the companies projected a 30-fold growth in the U.S. small wind market within as little as five years, despite the global recession.

The U.S. small wind industry also benefits from the global market, as it controls about half of the global market share. U.S. manufacturers garnered $77 million of the $156 million that was spent throughout the world on small wind turbine installations. A total of 38.7 megawatts of small wind power capacity was installed globally in 2008. See the AWEA press release, which includes a link to the full report.