Financial incentives and government policies are driving small wind power technology

This report gives an in-depth analysis of the global small wind turbine market and provides forecasts up to 2015. The research analyzes the growth and evolution of the global small wind turbines market in the range of 50kW to 350kW up to 2009 and gives historical and forecast statistics for 2001-2015. T

his research analyzes the market scenarios for this technology and regulatory policies that govern them. Detailed information on key current and upcoming small wind farms give a roadmap to this market’s development. This coupled with elaborate country profiles for the US, the UK, Spain, and Italy give comprehensive understanding of the market scenario. (

Wind turbine technology has been evolving

Wind turbine technology has evolved significantly in its design, capacity, and efficiency since it was first deployed in the 1980s to generate electricity. Today, the majority of wind turbines operate on horizontal axis with three blades that are attached to a rotor from which the electricity is transferred to a generator though a gearbox. Modern wind systems contain a communication system which allows the user to track performance and perform diagnostics wirelessly. Efforts are being made to enhance performance through increased software integration.

Small wind`power market is less matured than large wind

The small wind (50-350kW) market is relatively less mature compared to large wind with only US being the only country with a considerable presence in this sector. In 2008, 71.8MW was added in terms of small wind power capacity globally. With only UK alone projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.1% from 2009-15, the market maturity and saturation currently remain very low globally.

Financial incentives and government policies are driving wind technology

The wind energy market, like the market for other renewable energies, is primarily driven by government support policies and regulations. In the US, the wind market is primarily driven by federal tax credits and state-level RPS, the key regional market in the continent. In Europe in December 2008, the European Union (EU) agreed a new Renewable Energy Directive for a binding 20% renewable energy target by 2020.

The EU’s overall 20% renewable energy target for 2020 has been divided into legally binding targets for the 27 member states, averaging out at 20%. In the Asia Pacific government support is also driving wind energy growth. China’s wind installed capacity has doubled every year since 2006. The Renewable Energy Law, along with other policy measures such as Medium and Long-Term Development Plan for Renewable Energy introduced in 2007, is driving the Chinese market even further. Additionally, many states in India also have feed-in tariff schemes and RPS in place and many states are adopting these policies to drive wind energy growth.

Insufficient grid infrastructure, Administrative hurdles, and supply chain bottlenecks are hampering wind uptake

The existing grid infrastructure is deemed to be insufficient and there is also an urgent need for modifications to be made to the existing grid infrastructure and grid regulations to accommodate wind power characteristics. Upgrading old electricity infrastructures and the construction of new infrastructure to meet future transmission and distribution demands will be a major challenge for wind power development.

Furthermore, complicated zoning requirements, the lack of tax credits globally, unsatisfactory product performance, supply chain issues and the lack of net metering policies in many countries for small to medium sized wind will be the key challenges restricting growth in the future.

Global small wind power market is concentrated in the range of 50 kW to 100 kW

Installations in the wind power market in the range of 50 – 350 kW are primarily concentrated between 50kW to 100kW range, which constitutes about 42.8% of the total turbines installed in 50-350 kW range.

Major turbine manufacturers hold majority of the market

Currently, five manufacturers make up for more than 66% of the market. Kenetech Corporation and Vestas lead the pack with a market share of 24.3% and 18.1% in 2009, respectively. They are followed by Suzlon Energy Limited, NEPC India Limited, and Enercon GmbH with shares 11.7%, 8.1%, and 4.6% respectively in 2009.