The US wind energy market will see a surge in 2010
2009 wind energy (wind power) capacity additions in the USA could drop to 6.5 GW in 2009 – down 24% from the record year 2008, but that 2010 could see a re-bound of 9 GW of new wind additions, and another 11 GW in 2011.
And some analysts believe that by 2020 the US could see wind power (wind energy) growth of 15.5 GW.
“The US wind industry may post its strongest year ever in 2010 when the incentive-laced economic stimulus begins to show returns and transmission build-out reaches market,” says Emerging Energy Research (EER) Senior Analyst, Matthew Kaplan.
Power Class Wind Power (W/m2) Speed* (m/s) 1 <200 <5.6 2 200-300 5.6-6.4 3 300-400 6.4-7.0 4 400-500 7.0-7.5 5 500-600 7.5-8.0 6 600-800 8.0-8.8 7 >800 >8.8 *Equivalent wind speed at sea level for a Rayleigh Distribution
The US economic stimulus package provides several new tax equity financing options for the US wind projects to be installed in 2009 and 2010. The 30% Investment Tax Credit (ITC) combined with Treasury grant options could also contribute to near-term growth.
And a momentum is building for national renewable portfolio standards (RPS), which would spur wind growth even further.
“One renewable portfolio standards (RPS) currently under consideration would require 20% of electricity from renewables by 2020,” says Emerging Energy Research (EER) Senior Analyst, Kaplan. “With wind as the fastest growing renewable energy sources, this could have a huge impact.”
Plans for transmission build-out in the USA have a positive impact on the long-term development plans for wind energy, the analysts believe. And a major new interstate transmission system could help unlock wind resources in the US Midwest and Southwest and ensure steady market growth.
The US is also seeing major investments in wind turbine and turbine component manufacturing due to confidence in the long-term stability of the national policy.
“While the economic downturn has delayed some of these projects, recent investment commitments nearing US$1 billion alone from leading European turbine OEMs Vestas, Siemens and Nordex provide a strong indicator of the US wind market’s long term prospects,” Kaplan notes.
There are also signs that in regions where regulated utilities are allowed to build and own new generation assets – primarily in the Midwest, Southwest and Pacific Northwest of US – utility rate-based wind ownership activity has continued to proliferate and diversify, Emerging Energy Research (EER) says. In many of these places, utilities have long-term plans for building, owning and operating wind projects – often together with project development partners.
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The study, US Wind Power Markets and Strategies: 2010-2025, also predicts a near-term US wind market landscape wrought with increased competition. With the proliferation of favorable state and federal policies, however, the US wind industry is on track to add more than 165 GW of new capacity through 2025, resulting in a total installed base
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